Letter to yourself.

Four years ago (my first full year of teaching) I had my students write letters to themselves. It was only the second day of school. I told them to talk about who their friends were, what they thought highschool would be like, who they liked, and maybe even somethings that were going on in their lives right then, good or bad,  that would be a distant memory or at least would have progressed by the next time they read their letters. They were encouraged to attach pitures or souveniers and then asked to put them in an envelope  that would be sealed and placed in my basement until they graduated.

Four years later most of these kids are getting ready to graduate. So the other night I pulled the letters out of my basement and started sorting throught them and putting them in envelopes of their own along with a brief note from me. While sorting I realized that about twenty of my former freshmen are no longer in my school. Some have moved out of state. Some to other schools. Some have dropped out. However, two students have been in my head for the last few days. 

One was a freshman in our school and was expelled for an offence that I can not remember. He was not one of my favorites, but we got along okay and I remember being sad when I found out he was leaving. When I asked a friend of his the other day where he was now he told me he was locked up. To my knowledge this is the first student I’ve ever had that has been incarcerated for any significant length of time. From what I hear he’s been in for two years already. No one will tell me why. More than anything I want this young man to get his letter. I don’t know what he wrote in it and I don’t know if it would help or hurt, but I  still would like to get it to him. I’m also thinking that I’d like to give it to him. Like I said I never had a really close relationship with him, but I think I’d like to visit him and deliver the letter myself. I’ve never been to a prison beofore and don’t really know anyone in a prison, but I can’t help thinking that any visit that doesn’t come from someone who is angry or crying has got to be a pleasant distraction.

I don’t know who reads this blog, but if you have any insight on this please let me know.

Bells going to ring. Peace.


~ by captainawsome on April 27, 2010.

3 Responses to “Letter to yourself.”

  1. i think you should go for it.

  2. Go. We talk a lot about kids who feel that they have no support, but it is also damaging to feel that you only have your family on your side- that representatives of societal structures (ie schools) don’t care or notice when you fall through the cracks. It will probably be tough, and not seem to go well, but he will know that someone who doesn’t have to notices he exists. although- you should check with the prison first to see if its ok to hand-deliver a letter.

  3. you are awesome cj to have done this for your students. i think it could make a huge difference in this guys life. i say go with your gut and do it!

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