I really wish I could start this post by telling you how I thought of this amazing idea, pursued it and gave birth to this amazingly life changing teaching practice. I wish so bad...but that's not the case. This classroom practice blossomed out of inspiration from a FaceBook friend, and became something that I began to do every year. I hope you enjoy this post, find it inspirational and begin to consider how to develop more positive relationships with your students.
When I know I have something coming in the mail, I can hardly wait to get home. Regardless of the significance of what is waiting on me, having something come the "old-fashioned" way in the mail sends a certain amount of excitement through me. Maybe it is the delayed gratification, but waiting for something to arrive makes the arrival all that more exciting. That is one of the reasons I have incorporated writing postcards to my students in my classroom practice. I wish I had mine to show you, but they are in the mail, working their way towards me as we speak so I can began my writing (I will update with a photo when they are here!)
Every year, I get online and design a postcard for the year. Throughout the year I will write postcards to my students. There are many reasons I do this, but the most important one is building a relationship with each and every student. When students know you care about them, they are way more willing to work hard than when they think you are aloof or uncaring. I try to strategically write postcards to my students when I see they may be struggling and down, or when they have had huge success and growth in the classroom. Regardless of the reason, every student gets one!
I typically will send one on in the fall and one in the spring. I wish I could tell you how excited the kiddos are when their postcard arrives. What's even more exciting is that it is a TOTAL surprise to them! All of a sudden they come home to a postcard from their teacher telling them how proud they are or how they can see their growth. KIDS LOVE IT! Another great importance of this is that not every contact with home should be regarding negative behavior. This creates a positive contact with the student and parents and develops those relationships even further.
Sending postcards to students is such a small act that reaps big dividends. I wouldn't change this for the world as I believe I can truly see the benefits in my classroom and in my kids. I find it so fun to design my postcard each year and it has become a classroom practice I deeply enjoy. Every students deserves to hear positive things from their teacher and sending it through "snail mail" is just a unique and fun way of building that relationship. Check back soon for an update with the reveal of what my postcards look like for this year!