An Open Letter to Next Year’s Freshmen Class

Dear Class of 2017,

My name is familiar to you, and some of you may have even been in my classroom this year.  Right now I must address you simply as The Class of 2017, without a more defined identity.  All good things will come in a few short months.  I wanted to take this time to send you a note to say that I am eagerly anticipating our year together, and I have many goals and expectations for us as a community.  I don’t want to breeze past your well-deserved summer vacation with talks of the Fall, but there is no time like the present for us to become acquainted.  Hopefully you’re looking forward to starting your high school career as I am to help you become prepared for the upcoming four years.

When you come back to school in August, I have one small request of you.  It’s really not that complicated, it won’t cost you a dime or even a 10-minute break from the social media app of the moment.  I ask this of you: be open minded and receptive to learning something new.

“Is that it?”

I wish it were that simple.  This is the prime time for you to branch out and leave your safety zone.  Teenagers are the most daring, the most adventurous because you lack the key element that keeps adults from being bold: fear of the unknown.  This is why ESPN’s Extreme Games are filled with 17-23 years olds, not because of arthritis-riddled 40 year olds can’t do it; we know better because we’ve broken ourselves, physically and spiritually.

Together, we are going to read new things, talk about experiences that many of you have not been through before.  My attempt is to have you look at things in a new way, not to brainwash you or force my personal opinions down your throat.  Conversations will be held not to campaign, but to intrigue.  My book selection should be just the platform for such an agenda.  They may make you giggle, they may make you question, they may even make you look up from the text and around the room wondering to yourself, “Is this really being assigned by a teacher???”  That’s not to say what we’re going to read is illicit or inappropriate; there’s a reason why they’re called novels.

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I cannot speak about what your experience has been like up through your eighth grade year; I don’t even know what each individual has been taught, but I can make the assumption that you’ve been well prepared if you’ve made it this far. I know that you’re capable of accepting my challenge.  We will be digging deep and exploring; consider me the English Language Arts Indiana Jones.

So go out there and enjoy your summers; we all deserve the opportunity to spend the free time doing absolutely nothing productive.  But when we come together in the fall, let’s agree to work on a cooperative effort to grow, consider, and learn together.

All the best and cheers to Fall of 2013,

Mrs. Ferrari

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