Sample Letters

Classroom management

Students:

I need to let you all know there may be times that some of you will say or do inappropriate things this year. Believe me, it happens every year. I just want to let you know that I won’t always stop the lesson to deal with that person. Some of you might even wonder what I’m going to do about it. Trust me, I do not ignore misbehavior, but I also do not believe in stopping a lesson or in embarrassing any of you. At the proper time, I’ll deal with it. But it will be dealt with when I see fit. Is there anything you don’t understand about this?

Please remember that I only discuss you with you. I will not be talking to you about anyone else or to anyone else about you. So, if you are thinking about complaining about someone else, remember: I’m not discussing anyone else with you.

 

 

Source - Curwin, Mendler & Mendler. (2008). Discipline with Dignity. New Challenges, New Solutions. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

 

Individual treatment of students

Dear Students:

I just want to let you all know right now that you will not all be getting the same assignment or even the same test because my job is to help each of you get better today than you were yesterday in all your subjects. For example, some of us are better at math right now than others, but all of us can get better than we were yesterday. So if you get a different test or assignment than someone else, that is the reason why.

Also, in the area of behaviors, some of you may not yet have learned proper manners and might even say rude, nasty or inappropriate things to each other. If it happens, sometimes I will give a consequence to one person that is different from one I give to another if I think different people will learn better behavior from a different consequence.

I also want to tell you right now that I will only talk to you about you this year. So, if you have a complaint, let me know what you think will work better for you. I will not discuss anyone else’s grades, assignments, consequences, or anything else. I am sure you would not want me to talk about you behind your back, which is why I will not be talking to you about anyone else behind theirs. However, I will always talk to you about you. So, if you are thinking about complaining about someone else, remember: I’m not discussing anyone else with you.

I am sending a copy of this letter to your parents so that they also understand how I will be supporting you this year in both successful learning for life and successful learning for living.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Your teacher

 

 

Source - Curwin, Mendler & Mendler. (2008). Discipline with Dignity. New Challenges, New Solutions. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

 

Homework and wasting time

Students:

I need to let you all know right now that I will always do my best never to waste your time this year. I hate when people waste my time, and I will try hard not to waste yours. This means I will do my best to give you work you can do to get better today than you were yesterday. I will not give you homework just so you will not be playing video games or watching television at night. You might not like all the assignments I give, and you might not understand why I’m given each, but remember, I promise to do my best never to waste your time this year.

 

 

Source - Curwin, Mendler & Mendler. (2008). Discipline with Dignity. New Challenges, New Solutions. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

 

Explaining Homework to Students and Parents

Students:

I will be giving homework two or three nights per week this year. Many teachers think that they are being nice by giving homework all week and none on Fridays. I’m not saying I won’t do that, but I want to give you a choice. I know that many of you are tired when you get home. You’ve been in school all day. Some of you have sports practices and other activities at night such as music events. I know many of your parents work during the week and are tired themselves at night. If you have a parent who travels for work or works late, they might not be home to help with homework. So you decide. Would you prefer three nights Monday through Thursday or one night Monday through Thursday and a bit more on weekends?

 

Source - Curwin, Mendler & Mendler. (2008). Discipline with Dignity. New Challenges, New Solutions. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

 

Parents:

I just want to let you know how my class works this year. I promise to do my best not to waste your or your child’s time. This means I won’t be giving homework every night. In this class it will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please set aside at least one hour every Tuesday night to work with your daughter or son. If they come home on Tuesdays and say they don’t have homework, probably they are misinforming you. If you want to put them in a sports league or have them take music lessons, please do it on a night other than Tuesdays.

 

Source - Curwin, Mendler & Mendler. (2008). Discipline with Dignity. New Challenges, New Solutions. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

 

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©