2016 Letter to Students

Dear Student,

I painted my fence a TARDIS blue this summer. I thought it would be a one day job. I purchased a gallon of paint and a paint brush and planned to start painting early the next morning.

But, you see, painting is not as easy nor fast as it may seem. The fence is older than you, my students. Some areas gladly took the paint, other areas soaked way too much  attention, and others were knotty and hard-headed. The summer heat urged me not work the entire day. When the sweat poured into my eyes, I wanted to quit. However, the thought of wasting the paint on the brush kept me going.   I only stopped for the day when I had to purchase a second gallon of paint. I then worked for two more mornings until the entire fence was done.

You see, I knew that the work would be worth it.

I see you nodding your head. You recognize the previous section as a metaphor - an analogy for my students. You are right. But if you think I am comparing you to a passive piece of wood, think again. You, my beloved student, are the PAINTER. The fence is your writing canvas that is neither easy nor fast. The areas of wood represent the writing process. Sometimes your creativity will flow, other times you will have to give great amounts of attention, and still other times it will feel impossible.

But you will keep at it.
   You will work hard.
       You will be proud.
           You will be inspired to do more.

My TARDIS blue fence complements my garden. The mere color pulls me outside at sunrise to admire the green corn stalks, orange marigolds, red strawberries, and yellow sunflowers against an artist’s palette. I rest, drink coffee, and feel inspired to pull weeds, move the watermelon vines to safety, and verify that the drip system is properly watering the tomatoes. I do more because I am inspired. I do more because I invested so much work on that blue fence.

Don't expect your junior high school teachers to do all the work. We are here to make you critical thinkers. YOU will revise your work. We will point out areas that need more attention. And YOU will revise your work. We will ask probing questions that make you critically look at your progress. And YOU will revise your work. We will NOT paint the fence for YOU!

Our expectation is that you paint your own fence this year. Your creativity and ever-changing personality will determine the color, colors, or mural that will go on your fence. You will write for long periods of time. Sometimes the writing process will be easy, other times it will require more attention, and still other times you will need a helping hand on that knotty wood. But, remember, YOU are the PAINTER. The work will be worth it!

What color will you paint your fence this year? Grab your writing instrument, let your creativity flow, and let’s get to work!


Mrs. Jennifer Scott
Compton Jr. High
English Teacher and Technology Leader

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2015 Letter to Students
2014 Letter to Students
2013 Letter to Students


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