The power of a handwritten letter by a kid.

Erin Kohlenberg

The power of a handwritten letter by a kid, CC by Erin Kohlenberg

In this age, nobody writes long hand anymore, especially youth. An e-mail gets through fast, avoiding a lot of hassle, but some still choose to go the handwritten way. You’d think those letters would come from my generation or the earlier one. Kids use paper less and less if at all. Ipads rule the classrooms and e-mail, texting, tweeting and instagram is how kids communicate. When asked to write long hand they look painfully at you and probably think to themselves “What’s this dinosaur talking about?” Yet, miracles happen and these kids may sometimes break their own rules to get to you more personally.

Today, I went down to my mail box at school, and among other papers I found an envelope with my name on it. Just “Laura.” My students call me that, I don’t like them to use my surname, it feels too formal and I believe it makes them feel I’m less  approachable.

I sat for this one, opened the envelope and found a handwritten note from one of my students. It was a very heartfelt letter apologizing for not having behaved her best, among other things. I’m glad I sat down because I found it baffling, especially because they all have my e-mail. Considering the time she took to write it and the words and feelings expressed, made me feel special and showed me that she, herself, had reflected on her behaviour without me having to punish her or call her on it.

The power of a handwriten letter doesn’t compare to an e-mail. I truly apreciated the gesture and it seemed much more honest that a quick e-mail.

I do love my kids and understand that it’s a time of huge emotional and physical changes. And do appreciate the recognition of their sometimes over excited behaviour. They are good kids.

To make my heart grow over an inch, she added:  “Thank you for not giving up on us.” And I thought “Never.”

 

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