At my new school, it’s the custom that we send an e-mail to the parents of every kid in our advisory group, and a letter via snail mail to the children themselves. I’ve spent the afternoon writing up a master draft of this email to parents, and sending it out, and then writing a master draft of the letter to the children.
And then writing those by hand.
It was a challenge. Aside from my own journal, which is not terribly readable even by me, I haven’t done so much hand-writing at such a small scale in years. I was conscious of wanting to stay in proper form, with periods and proper capital and lower-case letters — and having to tear up two or three copies because of errors both major and minor.
But I feel like it was time well-spent. There’s a certain magic in a hand-written note, which creates a bond between the sender and the recipient. These kids will always be “my first students” at my new school, and it’s sealed with a handwritten promise to be there for them when and how they need me.
In the old days, only a truly hand-written contract, properly signed and witnessed, could be legally enforced. And today I wrote nine such contracts to my students. I hope I can live up to the expectations of what they need from me.