Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

As a teacher I value the ability of a student to put their thoughts into written words more than nearly any other skill. I agree that math, reading, science, social studies, art, pe, and all of the other elements of school are essential for a well-rounded and educated person. However, to be able to write what you are thinking in a clear and concise manner is one of the most difficult skills to teach as well as to practice.

Because of that, I ask that my students write several letters throughout the school year. We write thank you letters to every visitor and host on field trips. We write to politicians and celebrities. I also keep a correspondence journal with each student where we can discuss life's events back and forth in written form.

Typing is so much easier than writing. It is faster, easier to edit. The spelling is generally correct and the handwriting isn't even an issue. I have poor handwriting and I'm honestly not the greatest speller. For those reasons, I prefer blogging as opposed to keeping a private journal. My hands ache after writing for even a short period of time because it happens so infrequently when compared to typing.

This afternoon I wrote each of my students a letter expressing my thoughts as the school year ends. It is a bittersweet ending because of how much I love summer, but I had hoped to end the school year with my students. I could have easily emailed each student, but receiving a handwritten letter in the mail is so exciting to me, even today.

I absolutely love stationary and this was a great excuse to buy a new set yesterday at Target. I have gone through stationary so quickly lately because of all of the generous gifts we received for our wedding last year and for Ben's arrival. Maybe this is also the writing teacher in me, but I prefer stationary to pre-printed cards (the kind with the messages already written). When I share my poor handwriting, spelling and occasional problems with commas, I am also sending a part of me in the mail.

Pictures from yesterday's storm:

Josh took this picture of the crazy green sky fro the front door.

The tulip tree missing its top left side. This used to be a full and symmetrical tree.

The limbs flew from the tree on the west side of the house, hit the roof, and landed in the front (south) yard. Some made it much further into the yard and even past the house.

These are the beautiful flowers from the tulip tree. Josh picked one and brought it in for me to cheer me up after our stressful morning.

The ducks survived just fine. Several of the chicks did not. We haven't made a final count just yet.

I almost forgot to include a picture of Ben too!

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