Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 years ago - The Letters

5 years ago I was the principal of a fairly small PreK through 8th grade Parochial School of about 150 students.  I had one section of each grade.  Class sizes varied.  My 8th grade classes always played the role of "leaders" in my school.  I relied heavily on them to be the "leaders" and lead by example for the younger kids in our school.
I worked very diligently with the 8th graders every year to start thinking about high school, college, and their FUTURE.  I wanted to come up with a way to catch there attention later.  So my idea was born.

I had the kids write a letter to themselves on where they thought they would be in 5 years.  

We talked about how they would (hopefully) be graduated from high school and heading off to college.
So tomorrow, 5 years later, I will be mailing their letters to them.

Above is a picture of the letters.  The letter on the left with colorful bubbles on it is the hand-written letter that the kids wrote to themselves, 5 years ago.  The typed letter on the right is my letter to them.  I, of course, used Google Docs for this process and started all of the letters with the same 3 paragraphs about a reminder about the letter itself, what is going on with me professionally, and what is going on with my growing family today.

Then, I of course re-read their letters and personalized a message to them based on my relationship with them and things they wrote in their letters.  Finally, against most of what I believe, I printed the Google Docs.  ;  )  (Google Docs are not meant to print #justsayin)  It was so fun to re-read their letters and think back to the memories I had with each of these kids and their families.

I had the kids use their parents home address on the pink envelope pictured above.  5 years ago I assured them if it got sent back to me because they moved I would work to figure out where they are now and get it sent to them, so we will see how this plays out.  I think the vast majority of their parents still live in those same homes so I am hopeful it should be good.

I am so excited for them to get these!  My hunch is most, if not all, of them will have long forgotten they wrote this 5 years ago.  I hope it will be a pleasant surprise for all of them.