Powered By Blogger

Saturday, June 4, 2016

An Open Letter to My 6th Graders

Dear LaSalle's 6th Graders,
I'm writing this to you now, because I couldn’t get the words out quite right at the 6th Grade Graduation ceremony. This year has been a challenging year for me. I don’t think I adjusted to this class as well as I could have. I never quite felt like I was the teacher I wanted to be for you. A year full of ups and downs, but a memorable year for sure. I hope you’ll remember it fondly.
I’m sending this letter much later than I normally do. One reason is because we’ve been so busy the last couple of months. The other, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye. It’s the first weekend of “vacation” and sitting here alone in Room 216 trying to figure out what to do with myself today, so I figured I should get started.
There's a scene in a  movie that was made way before you were born (1989), 'When Harry Met Sally", when the wife of one of the main characters (Harry played by Billy Crystal) drops him off  and before she's even out of sight he says to her "I miss you already, I miss you already.” I know how Harry felt. 
I was fortunate enough to talk one on one with John Maxwell once after his speech in which he said, "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care." You should know by now that I do.
You have amazed me. You inspire me. I want to thank you for helping me become a better teacher. I still need to learn a great deal, but I, like you, am trying to get better. You have taught me a great deal. Thank you.
It is tough being twelve-ish isn't it? 
Some things to consider as you move on:
  • Live your life with some regret. That's probably exactly opposite of what you will hear rich people or celebrities will tell you, but don't be afraid to look backwards and realize that you could have done some things better. Mistakes and the learning they provide you, make you who you are, but don't be so selfish or keep your world prism so small that you plow through life without realizing you're capable of more than you can possibly know.
  • Be humble. Barry Sanders never spiked the ball (Google him). "If and when you get into the end zone, act like you have been there a thousand times before" - The Tragically Hip. My only sports analogy and lyric quotation in this post are here to try and say that you should always be proud of what you accomplish, but realize that there will always be someone better, faster, prettier, stronger, or smarter than you. Be happy and proud of what you accomplish. Don't compare yourself to others. Be the best at what and who you are. Life is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being the best you can be.
  • Take risks. Not the kinds of risks that diminish your spirit, your sense of self or physically hurt you or others, but risks that help you grow and prosper. "Ships are safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are built for." - Grace Murray Hopper
  • There is tremendous pain in the world, but also tremendous good.  It is easy to see the pain in the world and think that we cannot attain more, but we are all capable of great compassion and love. There are plenty of examples of hope and kindness, you just might have to look harder and remember longer. If you figure out a way to remember the compliments more than criticism, give me a call someday and tell me the secret.
  • Your friends today don't have to last you a lifetime. We all change and everyone has a different path we have to follow. Follow yours. Realize that the people in your life today don't have a ticket to ride along forever. Value and appreciate your time that you have together, but when you have reached the natural end of the friendship. Move along with grace.
  • Figure out who you are before you attach your identity to someone else. 
  • Choose your words carefully, but make them Louder Than A Bomb. Don’t hold back.
  • Be kind, not mean. The boy or girl you're mad at because they’re holding someone else's hand or you heard that they may have said something bad about you, won't even remember your name in three years. They will however, remember the mean things that come from you if you take that path. Erase Meanness and replace it with kindness.
  • Find your genius. Try to figure out what gets you excited and go after it with all that you have.
You have greatness inside you, find a way to bring it out.
  • Practice my "Grandma Rule" PLEASE! If you wouldn't say it, show it, or write it to Grandma, don't type it, text it, post it, or take a photo of it. Don’t be a coward and hide behind anonymity or fake profiles. Be aware that YOU control your digital footprint and that it is forever. Make it a positive one. Stand for something good.
  • Read a relevant book every six months. Not one assigned by a teacher, you'll get enough of those anyway. Read a book that interests you. A book that has made a difference in the world or tells you about someone who has lived an interesting life. I stole this advice from the head of the National Science Foundation who advised it at my college graduation and I have tried to heed it every year since. While I'm at it, write! Blog, journal, keep a notebook of your thoughts, whatever. Writing forces you to reflect.Writing can unlock life. Choose great words. Get better at writing by doing. Reading good writers makes you a better writer. Read. Write.
  • Wear funny hats. Run like a kindergartner, for no reason at all. Laugh. Travel. Explore. Move out of your current zip code someday. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk. Work in a place that lets you bring a nerf gun and a razor scooter to work. Do some of the things that the old people you know did, but don't want you to know about. Be careful. Be good to one another.
What most of you didn’t know, was that you will be my last class for a while. I’m taking on a new role for our district in about a month as its Director of Technology. I hope that I can help transform our schools over the next few years by putting many of the things we came to take for granted in Room 216 into classrooms throughout our rising District. Wish me your best, I’ll need your support.
I hope that you realize the best that fortune can bring. I hope that I get a glimpse of what you will become someday. Thank you for spending the last ten months with me. I have learned more from you than you have from me. I miss you already. 
All my best,
Mr. Johnson

Room 216 2015-2016 (6th Grade)


  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting information. Lately I was surfing the web looking for the same kind of news and I found it here typicalstudent.org/hot/students-life/us-high-school-students-putting-laxatives-into-lemonade-turned-out-netflix-tv-series

  2. Uluslararası Odessa Humaniter Üniversitesi Ukrayna’nın kıyı kesiminde bulunan turizm acısından oldukça gelişmiş bir liman şehri olan Odessa’da yer alır. Son derece iyi donanıma sahip hızla büyüyen ve eğitim alanında yenilikçi, çok yönlü olan üniversite’de kültür merkezi, sinema kulübü, konferans salonu, modern sınıflar, spor merkezleri, öğrenci kafeleri ve büyük bir kütüphane bulunmaktadır. Yerli ve yabancı öğrencilerin ihtiyaçlarını donanımlı modern binalarında, eğitim kadrosu olarak da doçent ve profesörleri üst düzeyde bilgi birikimlerini paylaşarak prestiji ve kaliteyi yaymaktadırlar. Üniversite bünyesinde 4 fakülte,2 enstitü ve 17 uzmanlık dalında eğitim verilmektedir. Türkiye’den gönderdiğimiz öğrenciler istedikleri bölümlerde okuyabilmektedir. Yeni eğitim dönemi açık öğretim şeklin de okunabilir ya da dersler ve sınavlar internet üzerinden İngilizce olarak okunabilir. Örgün eğitimlerde üniversitemizde bulunan tüm bölümlerde zaten eğitimler Rusça dili ile alınabilmektedir.

    uzaktan hukuk eğitimi veren üniversiteler

  3. here is the best colleges to study bsc renal dialysis technology in Bangalore. B.Sc renal dialysis technology colleges in bangalore

  4. I found a very interesting website where you can customize various hats!By the way,I like custom embroidered hats

  5. ดูหนังออนไลน์||หนัง||หนังออนไลน์||ดูหนังออนไลน์ฟรี||หนังใหม่||หนังซูม||หนังภาคไทย||หนังเต็มเรื่อง||ดาวโหลดหนังฟรี||ดูหนังฟรี||เว็บหนัง||หนังฟรี||หนัง77

  6. Nice post! Acadecraft comprises a team of designers who efficiently format creative books with high-quality visuals for Higher educational levels be it undergraduate, post-graduate or Ph.D levels. Our experienced designers employ original designs and high-resolution images while designing STM books and journals, B2B books and journals, Magazines, Proceedings, Catalogues, Encyclopaedias, Directories, subject-intrinsic books and Dictionaries.
    book typesetting services
    curriculum development company
    content quality checker online

  7. Want To Makeup 3d Product Designs For Upcoming Projects?
    Quickgunz Pvt Ltd Design 3d Product Design Models With High-Quality Render For Your Upcoming Projects To Know More Visit Our Website For Discuss Projects With Us On Mail Or Phone Write Us At Info@quickgunz.com
    3D Product Design Services
    3D Product Design Company

  8. event coordinator. everyone who could be potential partners and the key is to find companies who are specifically interested in sponsoring the types of events your business is producing and It’s a subtle yet significant difference and By focusing solely on companies willing to sponsor events. event marketing tips and thankful email

  9. Doctors hospital believe the biggest service to humanity is affordable healthcare. It is a Best Hospital in Kasaragod, Kerala. They have professional doctors and staffs with good experience.

  10. The United States Generic Drug Market reached a value of US$ 127.8 Billion in 2020. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% during 2021-2026. Keeping in mind the uncertainties of COVID-19, we are continuously tracking and evaluating the direct as well as the indirect influence of the pandemic. These insights are included in the report as a major market contributor. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of generic drug approvals across the US supported by the implementation of the Drug Competition Action Plan of the FDA that aims towards the elimination of barriers faced by the generic-drug manufacturers.

  11. This web development company is top notch! They are always on the cutting edge of Web Development Company in Pakistan technology and their team is second to none. I highly recommend them for any web development project!

  12. As you know, I will be teaching the LSAT prep course again this summer. I wanted to take a moment to remind you of how important it is to get a good score on the LSAT prep courses near me.