In the spirit of listening and elevating student voices, the Dear Teacher series designates a space to have these voices heard. The purpose of this series is to create a respectful, solution orientated platform for student voices to be amplified into positive change. Students from around the world can write anonymous letters to unnamed teachers giving light to what they wished teachers knew, how they can feel more seen, or how they believe their learning experiences can be improved.
I hope you are all doing very well on this very hard pandemic, I know it’s been very hard on school and that we need to follow lots of rules. I want to recommend you something that might help the students maybe feel better or connect and know more people: More recess!! I think that teachers should add a little bit more recess because it is like a break for students and that it makes them very happy, and it also makes them connect. For example, you could be playing a game like maybe Soccer, and then someone comes and says, “Can I play?” and you say yes and maybe he could become your friend. It makes students happy because they can play with their friends, and maybe even make new friends on the playground. You can make many friendships in the playground or upgrade the friendship. It’s like a “friendship dispenser.” And there are also lots of games to play, and there are many people to turn into friends! I think of this because when we were all on Zoom, we barely even had time to rest or play. It would be like hours of studying with only about 20 - 30 minutes to rest. So that’s why I think teachers should give a little (or more) recess time to kids.
A 5th grader from Chile
I love school. I look forward to going to school before summer and winter break are hardly halfway through. But really my wrists hurt at the end of the day because the only thing I do is write in my notebooks or on computers. There’s nothing wrong with writing in notebooks, but if that’s the only thing you do all the time, then it will be pretty boring. In my class, this year we watched downhill biking competitions for place value. How does this help? We looked at the scores and it helped us say our decimals correctly. And in science, we are studying simple machines. All the teachers take turns teaching each class with fun activities to help us learn about each simple machine. In Covid, it was hard because we couldn’t really do anything but sit and stare at little boxes that were teachers trying to teach us in the inconvenient time. They tried their best, but it was really boring to do the same notebook writing every day. Then when we came back to real person learning, it was the same thing we had been doing for 2 ½ years! I know that probably we can’t do field trips just yet, but maybe we can travel around the school. Last year, I got to go around measuring things for our geometry unit. You can include cool things, like downhill biking world cups, to help us do learning, like learning how to say decimals correctly. You can infuse learning into real life experiences. If all we do is write in our notebooks for our entire time at school, when we are finally let into the real world, we will not be prepared at all. Now, again, I’m not saying that I hate notebooks and that we shouldn’t write in notebooks, because I love writing about my reading in stop-and-jots and it’s really handy to have your math notebook when solving math problems, I just want to say that it should not be the only thing that we do all day. Thank you for your time and please consider more real-life learning experiences for your students.
An American fifth grader in Chile
To submit to the "Dear Teachers" series:
Encourage your students to think about what would benefit them in the development of their education, big picture ideas or small everyday practices, and let them write freely. Email the submissions with the subject "Dear Teacher" to email@example.com with your grade and country name only.
Title: Dear Teachers
Purpose: To inform and suggest solutions to implement positive changes.
•What would you like to see happening in your school or classroom?
•What steps or processes would work for you?
•What ways could your education be geared towards your needs?
Content: No teacher or school names should be mentioned.
Your voices matter and we look forward to sharing your views.