Last month, I wrote four letters as part of my goal of writing a letter a week for a year. I chose four former students to check-in on, not expecting any responses, but mostly just to say, “Hey.” Just a few days later, I received a letter back in my mailbox from one of the students. Out of all four, he seemed the least likely to write back, based on the fact that he had a really rough year last year, and I’ve literally never met a kid who seemed so trapped by the institution of school (though I could relate).
This year he moved to a private school and I was just curious if things had improved for him at all. His letter was a little depressing (he literally said he was “trying not to hate school”), but nonetheless he wrote me back (and he hated writing). I thought that was pretty cool.
Then today I got another letter in my mailbox, from a much more enthusiastic student (who also moved to different private school to pursue a life in the arts). She even added pics of her new puppy, and mentioned a lot of the things that she learned in my class had come in handy at her new school.
I don’t know if the other two students will write me back, but it’s pretty cool that right off that bat my plan to write a letter a week has unexpected results. In an age where I frequently hear an older generation bitch and moan that “kids today” are too addicted to technology, these students have made me wonder if maybe the younger generation is just waiting for opportunities like this to go low-tech. Maybe we are being bad role models for not really writing real letters anymore (because, no offense, your holiday photo card doesn’t count).
So now I’m putting you on the spot: when was the last time you wrote a letter and sent it through the real mail?