Espresso Shot: What We Wish Our Students Knew

Hello fellow ELA teachers! The coffee shop gals would like to discuss what we, as teachers, wish our students knew.  Whether it's about personal matters or academic matters, teachers know a lot about life.  Check out what these English Language Arts teachers have to say: 

My students, I wish you knew how to cite, write, read, and speak, and these are the things I hope to teach you. Cite your sources when you support a claim (and for goodness sake, Google is NOT a source!). Write your name on your paper and write in your journal every day. When you are thirty (fifty, sixty), you won't remember that awesome joke your 9th grade BFF told. Read the chapter I assigned, and then read read read for fun - hide under your covers with a flashlight and read your favorite novel until 2 AM. Speak up in class, and take a few deep breaths before you give a speech. Stretch your fingers and do some yoga for the brain. Speak out for those who need your voice and stretch your legs in marches for those who need your strength. Be brave, be kind, and be wise. This, I hope you learn. -Nouvelle ELA
 My students, I wish you knew that everything is not always as it seems and that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side. While it may look as if your friends or other students have it easy or all put together, that is not always the case. In a world filled with smokescreens and social media highlight reels, you might not ever truly know what people are going through, and for that reason, it is essential to always be kind and to treat one another with dignity and respect, whether you think they deserve it or not. Years after you graduate, you won’t ever regret taking the high road, though while in high school it might be one of the most difficult paths to take. -The Daring English Teacher
I wish that you knew how much you hurt yourself when you let internet sites do the thinking for you. When I ask you to read or analyze a book, I want to know what YOU think. I want to know because what you think matters, but also because you give yourself such a gift when you stretch your brain and let yourself dig just a little deeper to figure something out. It's a gift that you can use forever. I'd much rather you come to class with a less than amazing answer that you came up with yourself, than one that you got from someone else. Trust yourself. Build your skills. And read the book!!! -Room 213
Students, I wish I could prove that detail and preparation matter. The reason we take time for proofreading, revision, practice, and rereading are all because the world will hold you to a high bar in life; I want you to be ready to succeed no matter what a boss, leader, or opposing viewpoint asks of you. These reasons are why you need to PREPARE for a speech, and not just wing it; why you need to reread your writing before pushing submit; why you need to take the time to research before giving an opinion; and why the "little" things like grammar, formatting, and design all stack up. Don't be afraid to be great, and don't avoid the habits that create greatness. -Secondary Sara
To my students (past and future): There are so many things I wish you knew.  1. I wish you knew how much I truly, deeply care about each and every one of you and that I would do anything to ensure that you succeed at life in school and after graduation. 2. Perseverance, courage, and hard work PAY OFF! Literally.  If you want to live a life free of worries, you need to focus on your future and dedicate time and effort in school right now. 3. I wish you knew that, as a teacher, I know and understand how challenging middle and high school can be.  My door is always open and you can use my classroom as a safe haven at any time. 4. Lastly, I wish you knew why I became a teacher in the first place-- to change lives.  I didn't become a teacher to bore you with grammar skills.  I became a educator because my high school ELA teacher changed my life, and I want to have that same impact on you.  Love, The SuperHERO Teacher
Students, I wish you knew that you can still find the joy and passion for reading and writing that you had as a child before the practice became a requirement with instructions and restrictions. I want you to explore different texts to find ones that incite joy, curiosity, reflection, and connection. I wish you knew that becoming a reader often only requires finding the book  that reflects your experience, makes a personal connection, or relates to your passion and urges you to find others like it. I wish you knew you could write without fear of judgement. When you put your pen to paper (or hands to your keyboard), I wish that you did so without hesitation as a means of expressing yourself, delving deeper into a topic, or creating your own world. -Presto Plans
Students, I wish you knew that school is a stepping stone for life. Take advantage of the opportunities given to you: sports, school groups, volunteer opportunities, etc. Now is the time to get involved and try something new! These skills are not only great for you to learn, but also for your resume! Your teachers are helping to prepare you for life outside of school, so show up on time, bring your supplies, be respectful and do your best. These simple rules are expectations in a work environment, so take the positive feedback to heart that your teachers have been giving you! -The Classroom Sparrow
I want my students to know - that please and thank you are worth their weight in gold, it's more fun to think outside the box, and that it's okay to make mistakes as long as you take the time to learn from them. To question, to wonder, to delve deeper.. To be proud of themselves, their struggles, and their accomplishments. I want them to know they're beautiful, no matter what the media says and that they deserved to be loved for who they are. Lastly, I want them to know that I care about them beyond their time in my classroom... and that they can come to me for help for anything. -Addie Williams

When my students step into my classroom, I want them to know, really know, that education is a gift; that there truly is power in it, and that if they embrace all that there is to offer in their learning, they will be better poised to enter the global world in which they are living. Moreover, when it comes to learning English, I want them to know that no matter which field of study they wish to pursue, no matter which career they hope to embark on, the work we are doing in our course will serve them well. Whether it be the public speaking which prepares them for everything from a wedding speech to a job interview, or the writing which equips them to write both that cover letter and an academic report - I am trying to prepare them to be eloquent, critical thinkers who can express themselves fluently. - Stacey Lloyd

What do YOU wish your students knew?  Comment below! 

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