A Christmas wish list

I am sure, like many other Elementary and Early years classes  my students were asked to write a letter to Santa. Not only to fill time and do a Christmas activity, but also as a indicator of how my student are doing in their writing. However, sitting at my desk watching my students write and listening to their conversations as they wrote their letters, I thought to myself if I was to write to Santa what would I ask for.

Sitting and pondering I realized that many of the things that I would ask for would not be for myself, nor would they be for my family or friends. Looking into my classroom I realized that I would ask for the simple things, the things that many of us take for granted, but that I would ask for these things for the students in my class.

I would ask that my students could overcome their issues and that by doing so that they could possibly return to their families and if not that they could go to a family. A family that will give them things like hugs, without them having to ask for it. A family that will ask them how they are feeling and doing not only when they are exhibiting negative behaviors, but when they come into the house smiling.

I would ask that my students be treated the same way I was when I was a student and kid. That the adults in my life understand that there is no beneficial learning in punishment. That it is more productive to apply natural consequences and reflection. Because punishment teaches only one lesson “Hurt People – Hurt People”

I would ask that my students are given access to the resources and modifications that I am able to provide in my classroom in any classroom that they attend.

I would ask that my students are separated from their behaviors. That people take the time to build relationships with my “special” students and not see them as what they do. Yes actions do speak louder than words, but for students there are other reasons for their actions.

I would end my list by asking for one last thing. I would ask that regardless of who you are as an adult or older sibling, and regardless of the setting and situation, that we don’t give up one the children we come into contact with. Because I have found that the most damaging thing of all is when we don’t acknowledge a child’s efforts or their mistakes.

I know that this may be a lofty list, but that is my wish. Thanks Santa and Merry Christmas


12 thoughts on “A Christmas wish list

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Christmas wish list « Learning to Lead, Inspiring to Change -- Topsy.com

  2. Not a lofty list at all. Today I subbed for a freshman class and as a filler activity left by the teacher, the students were asked to list several things that they were grateful for. As I walked around to check in on the students, I overheard snippets of their conversation. Many found it hard to think of something they were grateful for, and it really hit me hard… I too wish for the same things you listed, and that as they go on in their lives that they will have more opportunities to experience kindness, love, and encouragement.

    • Thank you for the comment. When I taught high school (freshman – seniors) I too found it interesting that the students found it difficult to list or name things that they are grateful for. I don’t know when it happened that I matured and began to look at life from another perspective and realized that not all of us experience childhood the same way.

  3. What a great list, Shawn! I think that this list shows what a kind and compassionate teacher you are, and it shows just how lucky those students are to be in your class. I hope that you (and your students) get everything on this list!


    • As always Aviva you are too kind. I hope that one day all the items on my list become realities. Till then I smile knowing that I am providing many of the things on my list.

      Thanks again Aviva, as always I enjoy your comments and opinions, knowing that you have the same passions as I – our students and learning.

  4. Thank-you Shawn for sharing this beautiful post. The items on your list address those essential gifts we wish we could provide for our students. Despite the negativity we sometimes hear about certain students, your post reminds us that our goals are worthy.

    • Very well put Heather, thank you. Sometime when I write I tend to get overly verbal trying to over explain what I am trying to say.
      I agree that sometimes our focus tends to lean towards dealing with the negative occurrences in class, but I am constantly reminded about why I love teaching and it is that within the walls of my school and classroom I am able to make all my wish list wants come true.

      Thank you again for commenting.

  5. Wow! What a great list! It breaks my heart to see kids suffer in any way. I believe in Santa and I believe that Santa did give your students a special gift..you! They are blessed to have a teacher that cares so much about them, that reflects on what the child needs to have to succeed instead of shoving curriculum at them, and a teacher that would create this list for them. The care you give your students is a gift…the best gift Santa can give many of these students is a person that cares. It is obvious that you do!

    • Ah my dear you are too sweet and kind. Thank you, but I can not take all the credit. It is from having influential people in my life such as you, that continues to flame my passion. Thanks again. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Santa brings you all the you have asked for.

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Christmas wish list « Learning to Lead, Inspiring to Change -- Topsy.com

  7. Wow, what a great post. I think the best compliment that any teacher could get is from a student; however another great one is when another educator states that they would love to have this person teach their children – and that is how you make me feel. Your passion for kids and for understanding truly who they are is nothing short of just plain inspiring. Thank you so much for all you do for all “our” kids.

  8. Shawn,
    This post highlights how well you know what your students need and how important you are in their lives. I think that with all of the pressure on teachers to perform and students to do the same, it’s often forgotten that the relationships that we share and the giving of our hearts each day is what kids will remember. Your students are lucky to have you. And those of us reading your blog are also fortunate to be learning with you.
    I hope that your wishes for your students are granted. Thanks for sharing.

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