The Rainbow Letters- Written by Nader Musavi- 30 October 2013
One day, about a month ago, while I was casually going through a science book in the school library, I read about a science question of a student from their teacher. At this point, I thought I should plan a similar programme in the school, not only for science questions, but also to create an opportunity to know the students better, and to improve their bonding with their teachers. In our first meeting with the teachers, I suggested the plan and talked about it. Some of my colleagues proposed some additions to the programme, and others opposed it as they thought it would be an unnecessary and futile attempt. In the end, the decision was made to run a trial of the programme: Once a week, every week, a teacher would write a letter to each student in their class. In the letter, the teacher would explain to the student about how they did in terms of their studies and their behaviour in the past week, in a friendly manner. When I first read the students’ responses to the teachers’ letters, I was astonished! Many of the students loved their letters from their teachers, and responded with enthusiasm.
Yesterday, like every Thursday was the weekly meeting of the teachers. On our meeting agenda was to review and evaluate the students’ letters as well as those of the teachers. In most cases, the students’ writings were far more interesting and heartwarming than the writings of their teachers. Some of the teachers indicated that the correspondences have resulted in a higher performance of the students in terms of their studies and their classroom discipline. The meeting lasted for three hours. From each class, I read three or four letters and my colleagues reviewed and commented about it. Many of the students were delighted that their teachers were paying attention to their studies and behaviours in the class, and they have creatively decorated their letters. From the responses of the students that were filled with love and gratitude for the encouragement and the instructions they were receiving, it could be concluded that this is an agreeable method to create a mutual, intimate and effective connection between the teachers and students. While this method ameliorates the ability of the students to express their feelings and opinions without imposing an obligation on them. Through these letters, the teachers can explain to the students about their strength and the ways to nurture them, while encouraging them to tackle their shortcomings in their own language.
The responses of the students were filled with love and gratitude because of the encouragement and the instructions that they were receiving. Their responses demonstrated that this is an agreeable method to create a mutual, intimate and effective connection between the teachers and students, while it ameliorates the ability of the students to express their feelings and opinions without imposing an obligation on them. Through these letters, the teachers can explain to the students about their strengths and the ways to nurture them, while encouraging them to tackle their shortcomings in their own language. At the end of our meeting, it was agreed that at least one letter per week should be written to every student. To add to their excitement and curiosity, not all the letters will be distributed at the same time, rather in unanticipated intervals: each student will receive their letter in varied times of the day, on varied days of the week.
The letter of each student will be different from the others, which necessitates the attention of the teacher to each student individually; to get to know their characters and to carefully observe their changes, positive or otherwise. Furthermore, it was decided that the teachers’ letters should be written in a friendly and positive tone while considering the position of the teachers. The letters should not be longer than half a page to avoid the students’ boredom. On the remaining half of the page, the students will write their responses. Surely, a collection of these letters from each student, and each teacher can be archived. 08/11/1392 of the Persian calendar, 30/10/2013 of the Gregorian calendar Photo from the letter of Mohammad Shah Safdari, second-year student, to his teacher Miss Javadi.