Dear 5th Grade Students,
Like every teacher across America, I have been doing a lot of thinking since the tragedy at Sandy Hook School. I've thought about all the things grown-ups can, from politics, to blame, to detailed sadness. And I've thought about you. You are mine. I know each of you, and care for you, and want so badly for you to all reach your potential. That's why I'm a teacher.
Through all of this thinking, I've come to the realization that you are the ones I need to talk to. You are the ones who can change the world. You and every other 5th grader across our nation. You don't need to wait for the grown-ups to change things for you. You are capable of doing that yourselves.
Remember all the times we've talked about how powerful your brains are? We've talked about how whenever you learn or do new things, your brain neurons are building and strengthening new pathways for passing information. You are growing your brains. Those new pathways build knowledge, open avenues for creativity, and make fresh discoveries.
You are growing your brains at school, and also at home. Every time you play your video games, your brain is creating new pathways. If you are killing the bad guys, your brain is learning how to do that better and better. You are building a strong pathway for killing on instinct.
5th graders, is that a pathway of knowledge that you need?
You can change the world by putting away the video games. Instead, pick up a book. There are tens of thousands of wonderful books that can build valuable and useful brain pathways, and be super entertaining at the same time. Think books are boring? Come talk to me. You just need to find the right book.
You have all started band this year. Put away the video games, and pick up your instrument. Make up a song. Let your senses send input to your brain that is beautiful, rewarding, and all yours. Get together with your friends and form a quartet, or a rock band.
Start a drama club with your friends. I'll give you plays to perform. Build those neurons in a fun, creative, energetic way. Memorizing, characterizing, dressing up, building set, performing for an audience. What a great way to use your time.
5th graders, there are so many ways to build your brains, and every time you do, you are changing your future. You can choose what your brain holds. You can choose what your future holds. And your future is the future for us all.
Writing for children is a passion - along with reading kid's books, writing plays for kids, and teaching kids how to write!