Friday, September 16, 2011

School News

It's official.  Yes, I have the best classes of any teacher in any school in the entire United States of America!  My students are the smartest, most thoughtful, most well-behaved CHAMPIONS in the world!  True, West Valley is vastly different from SMG, but I know for sure that there are at least 26 CHAMPIONS that come through the doors of SMG in the two years I was able to teach there.

We've already learned so many new things in the first five weeks of school.  We've mastered foreign words and phrases, Greek and Latin word parts, theme, plot, point of view, genre, time period and culture words, and we're ready to start our first novel on Monday!  I have a few students who struggle and seem as if they may be misplaced in my class, but I believe they are capable of rising to the occasion.  Absences are still an issue for me.  There's no way to recreate what happens in our classroom by sending home an "assignment."  I wish parents could understand that it's not a matter of picking up make-up work.  Their children MISS valuable learning experiences when they are not in class.

My colleagues are wonderful people and I'm so grateful for them and for the opportunity to share ideas with them.  I wish I had more to offer, but my middle school skills are a little rusty.  In spite of that, I believe this may the year to get my land legs back and push myself professionally to a higher level of teaching.  I've already found myself pushing a little harder to find the BEST stuff to do each week with my students.  They are responding in amazing ways.  I'm going to post the text from a few emails I've received since school started just to keep my motivated.

Hi Coach Crawford,

I want to thank you for the letter you sent home regarding Hunger Games.  I so appreciate you making sure parents are aware of what our children are reading and for respecting us enough to communicate that prior to starting the book.  I look forward to the discussions our family may have.

I also want to thank you for being the kind of teacher that middle schoolers so need and love.  My daughter has been psyched about Reading since the first day she met you. 

In support of what you do,
Mother of a 7th Grader
Thank you so much for the information and invitation to the 11/1 event. We would love to attend and look forward to the opportunity to be a part of something like this.

Thank you again for what you are doing for my son.


Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 7:46 PM

School Fusion has not been functioning properly for about two weeks. My understanding is that "they" are aware of the issues and are working diligently to correct them.  Please let me know if the Fusion issues aren't resolved by early week.  I wish I could offer suggestions, but I'm technically challenged myself!

As teachers, we are all in the business of inspiring, or re-inspiring least we should be...Knowing that we are making a difference is the reason why we do what we do.  Thank you for sharing your son's positive response to our "Locker Room."  I am grateful for your support.

Check out our website for Reach Them to Teach Them  I'd like to invite to attend our 11.1.11 event as my guest.  Your children are welcome to join you.  Just let me know if this looks like something in which you'd be interested.  No one should ever be with a dream.

Dream BIG!

Amy Crawford

Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 1:49 PM

Thank you so much for your response. There's something wrong on School Fusion because I'm unable to access any of your files or send a message. I apologize for the previous message's errors; I'm typing on my phone.

I haven't dreamed in a long time. As a divorced parent of three (4, 8, and 12), I'm usually functioning in "survival" mode. You are reaching my son with your teaching style. He taught the younger ones the 'I want it, you've got it' over the weekend.

I want that intensity for my family too. Middle school has eroded the relationship that I once had with my son. So, my dream is that God restore that and my son's desire for doing his best. Dream BIG?! Thank you for the reminder. I barely sleep much less have dreams anymore. But Proverbs 29:18 says 'where there is no vision, the people perish..." Again, I am challenged.

If there's anything I can do to assist, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Have a great day,

Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 12:39 PM

I haven't entered the project grades yet because some students still need to do their presentations.  All grades will be updated by Friday afternoon.

Thank you for your support and encouragement.  I enjoy having your son in class!

Dream BIG!

Amy Crawford

Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 12:26 PM

Coach Crawford,
I was reviewing my son's grades on the parent portal and noticed that he has an N for last week's project grade. I watched him work on the notecards with his dad during the week, asked my son about the presentation over the weekend, and he said that it went well. So, I wasn't sure if the grade hasn't been recorded or if my son was not honest with me.

My son used to love learning and putting forth the effort. Now his academic pursuits are frustrating to watch and I feel like the Gustapo every time I aske about school. He doesn't write down assignments, all of his work is shoved into the binder. And he's not completely honest about homework.Again, I am extremly frustrated.

Thank you for any information that you are able to provide. If you'd rather call, please contact me at _____.

Have a blessed day,
I just wanted to say thank you for all you have done for my son.  He is an amazing child, regardless of his issues.  I wanted you to know that you were the only teacher he wanted to keep.  He mentioned you specifically when I was explaining to him what happened today.  You are his "favorite" class.  I'm not trying to make you feel bad.  I just wanted you to know how special you are (and have always been).  He asked my husband about "the challenging question of the day?"   He said it did not occur during class time.  Is this something he could continue to do, even though he is no longer part of your class?  I still believe you could be an amazing coach (on the side lines) for my son.  He actually cried today when I gave him the news.  Thank you for anything you can do.  
It's notes like these that keep me in the game whenever I feel like giving up.  Knowing that I am exactly where God has called me to be and that He is using me to have an impact on the students He brings my way, keeps me inspired.  
**I've taken out specific names in the emails to maintain confidentiality.  When possible I replace the names with "son" or "mother"

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