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Christmas reciprocated

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There is nothing quite like receiving a hand-written card or letter in the mail addressed just to you. Last year, I wrote and sent Christmas cards to each of my students. It wasn't for their parents, their siblings or anyone else-- just them. Iridescent polar bear cards aren't much, but it was something small I could do to make each and every one of them feel special.

This year, the favor has been returned. Last week, I received a Christmas card from one of my students with learning disabilities. When I first met her at the start of the year, she was reading at a 2nd grade level and writing at a 1st.

Dear Ms. J. Shuy,

I wish you a Thanksgiving and Mary Christmas. I was going to tell you my new e-mail address so you can email me like you email Ms. Lee. How was your Thanksgiving? I went to Farmington with my ante, uncle and my cousin. So I am going because I am watching TV. So ask me, How was your Thanksgiving.


Sure, she spelled my name wrong and her sentence structure needs work. If I was still her teacher, we would talk about tone. But her point was made. I do feel special.

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Stories about your students--the ones who improved through your help, remembered you, and kept in touch or even thanked you--those are good to share with your new teachers who may not have that experience for awhile yet but who will be craving just that recognition and appreciation for all the hard work they do. Thanks for sharing this with them and with us. It keeps us glowing.

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