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Season's greetings


22 postage stamps:

Christmas cards with iridescent polar bears on the cover, rather than the ones one sale adorned with cheesy snowmen wearing sweaters:

Spending 4 hours on a Tuesday night writing Christmas cards to each one of my students instead of designing curriculums, differentiating lessons or writing an insightful, heart-wrenching blog entry:

This has nothing to do with AYP. I'm certain this will not close the achievement gap. And help reach significant gains? Not likely. Tonight, I'm just writing holiday cards to my students. Because even though they're 14, swaggering with attitude and telling me that Christmas is stupid, everyone loves getting cards in the mail.

Everyone loves being remembered and knowing that someone out there spent 3 minutes picking out a card, writing a couple sentences, sealing the envelope and paying 39-cents for postage-- just for them. I know, because I still love it when my former 14-year-old, attitude-ridden, Goth-wannabe students from last year still write me cards.

Tonight, we're just working on making students feel special. And feeling special is just one of those things that we keep forgetting to add to our state standards.


If I did the math right, that will be the best $20.56 you ever spent.

Ms Shyu,

Just want to "Thank You" for sticking it out with the Rez kids. I know it could get disheartening at times trying to teach these kids, but it is professionals like you that will make a difference in the lives of these kids. All the best to you in the coming New Year.

Your time and money was well spent making those kids feel special. I also worked with kids with attitude, but I gave them the gift of giving. After the holidays, I would buy those huge boxes of holiday cards on sale. Next holiday season, I would put them out in my classroom as freebies to give away. I was encouraging functional writing skills and positive attitudes. It only took one student to get the writing-giving act going. Some students hand-delivered their cards, some requested that I put them in the addressees' mailboxes, and I remember getting quite a few of those cards back addressed to me. You might want to add this activity in the years to come.

I love that idea! I had card-making materials for my art club, but I'd like to extend that to my special education classes. I'll definitely implement that in holidays and years to come. Thank you.

Hi Jessica,

I have worked as a "program support specialist" in special ed. for several years now, after having put in 12 years in special education with traditional licensure plus master's degree. I am in the role of supporting teachers now, and have worked with those who went through the alternative program and those who went the traditional route. It really depends on who the person is -and their dedication, enthusiasm, creativity and willingness to continue to learn - whether or not the result is an effective teacher. It does not seem to matter which route they have gone - I see some of the most effective teachers have gone the alternative way, and some of the least the traditional way. I agree that the ones having received traditional training do begin with an advantage. It is very interesting to me to see the results of the research you quote, and not all that surprising either. I would like to get my hands on it - I have debated the issue with other traditionally licensed teachers, and my feeling from the start - when alternative licensure programs were just getting started - is that it really depends on the individual. Some highly qualified people from other fields bring a lot to the classroom from their previous life experience.

I enjoy reading about your experience so much, it is inspiring.

Sylvia in NM

You truly understand the power of being a teacher, Jessica. Keep doing what you are doing. Your students are lucky to have you and we are lucky to have our students.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It’s Christmas again!! A time to cherish the beautiful white snow, smiling snowman, brightness of the Christmas décor and the yummy candies and cakes! From November onwards it becomes impossible to forget that Christmas is coming. Well to be honest I personally wait for it so that I can return home to meet my parents and girlfriend of course!
With the passage of time lots of things about the celebration of Christmas has changed. I still remember when I was a kid, mom use to wait near the phone so that she becomes the first one to pick my brother call. We all use to have a fight as who is gonna be first to talk to him. Then I use to visit my relatives and friends with my parents who stayed near by.But now the net world has changed everything, especially the ecard trend. It’s so easy now to connect with our loved ones especially when you have so many ecard sites! One of free Christmas ecard site Being a new website meme4u.com really has fresh and cool greetings. The best part is if I write too meme4u.com regarding some card or idea they do take it seriously. Although the site has several errors but meme4u.com cards are really cool! So guys why don’t you check it out, you will also get the right ecard you are looking for! And if any one of you knows any other fresh ecard website do let me know!

Comments are now closed for this post.


Recent Comments

  • meme: It’s Christmas again!! A time to cherish the beautiful white read more
  • Bill: You truly understand the power of being a teacher, Jessica. read more
  • Sylvia Williamson: Hi Jessica, I have worked as a "program support specialist" read more
  • Kay Jones, Educator, k4teens.info: Your time and money was well spent making those kids read more
  • Val: Ms Shyu, Just want to "Thank You" for sticking it read more




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