July 24, 2016

Back to School Newsletters

It sure has been a while since my last post. I will briefly fill you in. Since school let out, I have been swarmed in camp. I am the program director for a local YMCA camp and that means I'm responsible for writing ten curriculum's for three age groups. Yes, that is a lot of additional work and it has really taken me away from my store and my blog, but I'm back!

Today, I want to focus on a topic that I'm noticing is somewhat controversial and that is Back to School Newsletters (or Meet the Teacher forms). My thought process began when the TpT Facebook page posted an ADORABLE newsletter format on their page. I loved the concept, went immediately to the sellers site, and purchased the resource. It was so fun and colorful and also completely editable!

Now, I decided to not only leave feedback, but to comment on the facebook post to share my excitement! I was shocked to see so many negative comments on the feed about the concept of Meet the Teacher newsletters. Advocates against expressed that it was too personal and parents didn't need to know all of this information about them. Proponents for the newsletters felt it was an excellent way to let parents know who they're giving their children too for the next nine months.

This brief synopsis leaves the question: To Meet the Teach newsletter or to not?

My simple and profound answer is that we need to do what works for us in our classrooms and respect others for their decisions as well, whether they agree with us or not. I was really taken aback by the negativity on the original FB post. We are a community of educators who all share a common goal. The teacher responsible for the newsletter they shared replied to my comment simply for being supportive. Isn't that how each of us should be?

Now for the good part {in my humble opinion anyway}... The contact box is covered for obvious reasons. Y'all don't need to know EVERYthing.

It dawned on me after I finished my version that this newsletter concept is generally geared toward elementary teachers... yet here I am in middle school loving the idea. Now that I'm in a school and a department that values work and collaborates together (as well as being in my fourth year of teaching), I have a lot more time to focus on the "add-ons" to my classroom.

The idea of a Meet the Teacher newsletter is amazing, but I also like the idea of sending home a monthly newsletter as well to keep parents up-to-date on what we've been working on. Who says this method has to be limited to elementary teachers? I'm ready to set higher expectations for my students, my parents, and for myself. I'm excited and ready for the upcoming school year.

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