Series First Days of School: It's Always Awkward in the Beginning: A Pledge to My Soon-to-be Students

A Pledge to My Soon-to-be Students

Lesson Objective: Connect with students on the first day of school
All Grades / All Students / Class Culture
1 MIN

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does this practice affect classroom culture?
  2. What does Ms. Wessling include in her pledge?
  3. What would you include in your pledge?

23 Comments

  • Private message to Danielle Rivas
  1.  This practice immediately makes students aware of the culture that the teacher is promoting in their classroom. Students learn that the educator is passionate about their teaching and their students. Additionally, this practice helps to begin building trust between the educator and their students. The tecaher is essentially establishing the character they have and helping students to understand that they are someone who cares and can be trusted.
  2. Ms. Wessling includes in her pledge the type of teacher she wants to be and pledges to do everything she can to fulfill this pledge. She explains her goals as an educator but also explaisn that she's only human and will inevitably make mistakes. Lastly, she handwrites each of the students' names at the bottom and her own signature, adding a personal touch.
  3.  In my own pledge, I would most likely adopt similar promises that Ms. Wessling includes but I would additionally pledge to be a friendy face for my students and a listening ear if they ever needed someone to talk to, judgement free.
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  • Private message to Michael Burnett
  1. How does this practice affect classroom culture?
    The letters/notes makes the students feel like they are engaged and part of the teacher's community.  I often hand write notes to students for accolades (opening of a theatre production in particular).  Some students have told me that was the first hand-written note they had ever received.
  2. What does Ms. Wessling include in her pledge?
    She pledges to see students as individuals, to listen, to be human (owning to mistakes), and to work as hard as she expects them to work.
  3. What would you include in your pledge?
    I think I would incorporate the same areas she does, as they are pretty all encompassing.
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  • Private message to veronica mendoza

  I think this practice the teacher has makes the students feel special and a part of her community. They all know that they have received a personal pledge from her and know everyone else in the class has too and they are a team.

I think it is a great idea that she pledges to listen to them and to be human. I think the students can appreciate her pledge to work as hard as they will and to treat them as individuals.

I would like to pledge to my students the same and to add that I pledge to be present, to start every day fresh with no expectation from the day before, to start over everyday. I pledge to stop and listen.

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  • Private message to Jaeden Dodson

This is a unique practice that should have a positive affect on classroom culture. It sets the tone for the semester of school year. Ms Wessling include what kind of teacher she strives to be in her pledge citing such topics as being human and a guarantee to listen to students.

I would include not only an outlined of what goals I wanted to achieve as a teacher, I would also include expectations of what I wanted students to achieve during the semester as well as how I wanted them to act.

Pledge to my students:

As your teacher, I pledge to always challenge you to expand the limit of your abilities both in the classroom and outside the classroom. I strive to push you to your limits while always keeping in mind that you are a student.

I expect that you put effort into this class and try your best. I also expect you to be civil with me and your classmates. We are in this together, we are a team.

Never get discouraged. I am here for you. Please come see if you are having difficulty; I will always make time for additional instruction. Your success is my main goal.

Let’s have a great semester.

Jaeden Dodson

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  • Private message to Cade Patterson

A pledge to your students signed and addressed to each student is a unique and great idea. This is very personal way to show the students that you care about their education and being the best teacher you can possibly be.

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External Resource Materials

Transcripts

  • Pledge to My Students Transcript

    Speaker 1:            Okay. Last thing before you leave. I have something for each

    Speaker 1:            Okay. Last thing before you leave. I have something for each of you. I like to start the school year thinking about my students before I even meet them. And so I write a pledge to them about the kind of teacher I want to work towards being for them. I print that out. I hand-write their name, hand-write my name, put it in an envelope, hand-write their name on it and give it to them. You don't have to do anything with this other than read it. That's all there is to it.

     

    Marcus. I've had students who have gone through the class come back and tell me how much that note caught their attention, that they were supposed to open up this envelope and inside there was this letter to them. Jonathan, here you go. I do think that there is some power, power in the idea that I am giving them this letter, that I was thinking about them before I met them. Riley. Thank you.

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School Details

Johnston Senior High School
6501 Northwest 62nd Avenue
Johnston IA 50131
Population: 1548

Data Provided By:

greatschools

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Sarah Brown Wessling
English Language Arts / 10 11 12 / Teacher

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