I would like to welcome you as one of my fifth grade students this year. I am looking forward to being your teacher this year. This will be a wonderful year because I have many exciting experiences planned for you. I hope you are as excited as I am to make your last year at WES your best year yet!
This is my 22nd year teaching at Wayne Elementary. I have also been fortunate enough to teach in far off places such as Hawaii, Costa Rica, Chicago, and Colorado. I have taught kids of all ages, but 10 and 11-year olds are clearly my favorites. Kids your age have positive attitudes, loads of enthusiasm, and a tremendous desire to learn new and exciting things. When I am not teaching, I love golfing, swimming, and cooking. Most of all, however, I love to read. Nothing helps me learn more about the world, other people, and myself than a good book. Maybe you feel the same way! In addition to reading, I enjoy the theatre. I run a drama club here at school, and on occasion perform in community and professional theatre. Of course, most important to me is my family. My lovely wife, Alisa, is a social worker, working for Main Line Health. My 12-year old daughter, Izzy, wants to be an archaeologist, but will just have to settle for being a 6th grader for now.
As your teacher, I have many expectations of you that I know you will be able to meet. I expect you to work hard, both in the classroom and at home. The harder you work the more success you will achieve. By trying your best, I have no doubt that you will improve in all areas of school, especially reading, writing, listening, and speaking. I expect you to find 5th grade challenging, fun, and rewarding.
Just as important, I expect you to show good character. By that I mean that you continuously practice to do good things and make the right choices. If you do not make a correct choice, I know that you will try and correct your mistake. Thomas Edison once said, “There is no such thing as a mistake, as long as you try and correct it.” A person of good character is fair, honest, and kind. I will help you develop these characteristics during the year.
I imagine you may have expectations of me as well. You certainly can expect me to care about how you are doing in school. I will make every effort to know your unique qualities and interests. I will treat all students fairly. Regarding my lessons, I will try and make them fun and challenging. I will also try and teach you “fix-up” strategies to help you correct your mistakes. I also will be prepared each day with the lessons I am to teach. Finally, I will try and correct and hand back tests and writing pieces the day after, so you can see right away what are your strengths and any areas of concern.
Starting on the first day of school, I will be explaining things such as homework, grading, discipline, classroom rules, procedures and routines. During the school year, we will study Motion and Design, Sinking and Floating, Microbes, and American History starting from the American Revolution up to the Civil War. We will continue to develop our voice in our writing. We will shift our focus while we read from “what is going on in the story” to “what does the author want me to understand”. Most importantly, I will do my best to prepare you for the upcoming years of middle school by helping you learn “what to do, when you don’t know what to do.”
For now, you will need the following supplies in addition to the ones that were on the 5th-Grade Supply list that you received with your report card last June:
- An Accordion File with at least 7 pockets
- 4 dry erase markers
- 1 sock (to be used as a dry erase board eraser)
- small, 3-ring binder with 5 dividers to be used in writing
- 5 black or blue erasable pens
- 5 red pens
- 1 permanent marker (sharpie) in which to write your initials on all of your pencils, pens, etc. This should be done before the first day of school.
- yellow highlighter
I would like you to bring in these school supplies on the first day of school. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you email me, I promise to write you back within 48 hours. For parents, please email me with the address you would like me to use for communication. Include a second address for a spouse/guardian/caregiver, if necessary, that wants to be on the class distribution list.
I look forward to meeting you and having a wonderful year with you.