Dear Isabella

education, photography

Dear Isabella,

You are no one’s property. Go to the restroom, and scrub those filthy words off your arm.

I’m less concerned about the Sharpie; it will come off with of lots of soap and water. What worries me is the meaning behind the words, and what this says about how you think of yourself.

Love is not ownership, and you are not a possession to be had.

Tonight for homework, I’m assigning you an extra myth to read. Not as a punishment, but certainly as a lesson. Write a five-paragraph essay answering the following question: According to the myth of Demeter and Persephone, did Hades or Demeter love Persephone more? Is it more loving to cling tightly to someone or to let her go?

You have a 98 average in my class after Tuesday’s test. You are too smart to believe that you are an 11-year-old boy’s property. If you will not hold yourself to a high standard, I will.

All my love,

Ms. Jackson

Dear Denzel

education, photography

Dear Denzel,

Since the first day of school, your raised hand, waiving impatiently back and forth in the middle of my lesson signaled that you were about to issue a complaint:

It’s hot in here, Miss!

I don’t feel like doin’ work today.

I’m bored.

I’m hungry. When do lunch start?

Truthfully, I had become so exasperated with your lethargic attitude that I thought you were completely tuning out my teaching.

Today you changed your attitude and my mind about calling on you. By refocusing all your energy from complaining, into searching the story for figurative language, you became a simile sleuth! Throughout class, I couldn’t help but smile to see your hand waving excitedly in the air, because I knew you weren’t going to ask about lunch but that you were prepared to share the meaning behind a metaphor.

And that was only the start of your awesomeness. When I made a mistake in the notes and switched the definitions of simile and metaphor, you did not suck your teeth, call out or argue. You set an amazing example for your classmates by silently raising your hand and waiting for me to call on you.

Thank you for saving me from teaching simile and metaphor incorrectly all day. I am proud of you, Simile Sleuth/ Metaphor Man!

All my love,

-Ms. Jackson