I like to think of myself as a great communicator. I give presentations and people actually clap. I often find myself the one who re-explains something to a class so they can grasp a difficult concept. I actually take pride in how parents feel comfortable reaching out to me. And yet...
I was thinking back to a time I taught first grade at the Arkansas School for the Deaf. I was known as the crafty teacher where scissors and glue were a staple at our table. We were cutting out a project when one of my girls dropped her scissors and went under the table to get it. She was taking a while, so another girl signed "I'll help," and went under the table as well. I was distracted by other students so it took a while before I noticed they had both been under the table for a long time. Too long. Swallowing my anxiety I bent to look under the table.
Before I continue this story, you need to understand that the first little girl had beautiful blonde hair that had never been cut. It went to her seat. It was always perfectly groomed and shimmered gloriously in the sunlight. I think you may know where I am going with this...
I looked under the table and saw four terrified eyes looking back at me. Girl #2 had the fallen pair of scissors, but she also had a handful of beautiful blonde hair. It had been cut to the scalp right in the middle of Girl #1's forehead!
There is no Hallmark card for this, and they certainly didn't teach me how to handle this in college! I tried to call the mother, but thankfully she did not answer. I took the coward's way out and wrote a note to send home. Attached to the note was a baggie full of hair. I don't think I slept that night waiting for a phone call from an irate mother. It never came. The little girl came to school the next day with the cutest, very short set of bangs to accentuate her long hair. Her mother never brought the situation up, even when we met several times face to face. I sure didn't bring it up. That little girl is now a teacher of the Deaf herself and she and her mother still keep in contact with me through Facebook.
I don't know why that story came to me so strongly this week, but it reminded me of the importance of keeping communication between school and home as open as possible. To help with that, I made today's Monday Freebie!
This is a template for a newsletter to send home with students. I made a color as well as black and white version. Simply type in your class name, date, and the boxes and you are good to go! Click on the picture to get your free download today!
Do you have a memorable class experience you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it!