A Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the world of 6th grade.  I see a lot of familiar last names on my class roster, so I’m sure some of you have had kids in my class before and know what to expect, for others of you, this may be your first time dealing with Mr. Curtis –either way– welcome.

I’d like to take this opportunity to give you some insight on my teaching philosophy.  I believe that kids learn best if they enjoy what they do.  When I was in junior high, I was always terrible at the subjects I didn’t enjoy, and I know a lot of our kids are like that too.  So, I make every attempt to make my class, and reading and writing, as fun as I can possibly make it – while still achieving our learning goals of course. I have a very simple philosophy – If they’re laughing, they’re listening.  If they’re listening, they’re learning.

Beyond the academic achievement, my personal goals are very simple:

  1. Get kids to like reading and writing.
  2. Help them improve as readers and writers.
  3. Help them become more organized and better at time management.
  4. Help them become more comfortable using technology to communicate, collaborate, and share in a safe and responsible way.

That said, I also want to let you know that my class is challenging.  Even though the kids’ class schedules and report cards show they have me for a single class, I will actually be teaching two subjects to the students – Literature (reading) and Language Arts (writing).  Instead of the usual 45 minutes periods, I have each student for two class periods (94 minutes).  Because of this, it may seem that there is an extraordinary amount of work in my class.   It may seem as if I am overloading the students, but I don’t believe there’s any more work in my room than there is in any other two classes.

I do give assignments almost every day, and we are usually working on several projects (like writing assignments and booktalks) at the same time.  However, every single assignment I give has a purpose – they are all a small piece of the puzzle that I’ll use to make your student a better reader and a better writer.   Even though I’m strict, I am fair.  As I said, every assignment I give serves a purpose, and I understand that kids need time for after school activities, for family obligations, and some time to just be a kid.  So, even though I assign a lot of work, I also give plenty of class time to do it or more than one day to complete an assignment.  Beyond that, I give plenty of opportunities for kids to ask for help if they need it.

As for you parents, neither me nor your kids can achieve our goals for the year if you don’t help.  I need you to help me keep your kids on track, help them stay organized, and give them the resources they need at home.

The lines of communication are always open on my end.  I will be sending home periodic reports, and I answer all my emails as quickly as I can.  With a teacher’s goofy schedule (and my duties after school with the drama club and Minooka TAP) email is the easiest way to get a hold of me, but I can also be reached during my plan time on the phone. Beyond that, grades will be updated online at Teacherease.com as quickly as I can get work graded (please understand that assignments handed in late will go to the bottom of my pile and may take a few weeks to get updated in the computer).  I will use email to notify you of any problems, questions, or concerns.  Please check the website often so you can see how your child is progressing.

If you don’t have a Teacherease.com account, email me at mcurts@min201.org and I will have the tech department create a free account for you.

I look forward to a wonderful year with you and your kids,

Mike Curtis

11 responses

6 09 2011
Tracy

Mr. Curtis,

Sounds like it will be a great year for Brady! He does enjoy reading.

Thank you!

Tracy Wytrwal

21 08 2012
Kelly Nicpon

Mr. Curtis,

Thank you for contacting the parents about your class and we are looking forward to a great school year!

Kelly Nicpon

22 08 2012
Michelle Cottingim

Mr Curtis,
So excited to get your email and let us know upfront what the plan for the year is. Brian is very excited to start school and is over the moon to have you as his teacher. Reading is not his favorite thing to do, however, with the adventures you have planned for them through reading, you may just change that for him.

Thank You,
Michelle Cottingim

22 08 2012
Sheila Freese

Mr. Curtis,
We are very excited for this year! My daughter, Lindsay, loved having you and I am sure Jordan will too!
Sheila Freese

27 08 2012
Terri Klinder

We are a family of readers, when we first moved to Minooka the first thing we noticed was that the Library was 4 blocks away!!! YEAH!!!

28 08 2012
mcliterature

I just moved to a new town too (not Minooka), and the #1 selling point for my new house was that the town library was 2 blocks away.

18 08 2013
Welcome to 6th Grade!!! | mcliterature

[…] A Letter to Parents […]

20 08 2013
Holly and Mike Ebert

Thanks Mr. Curtis we are looking forward to getting to know you! We just moved here from Michigan. Our daughter Nikki loves to read and write and is looking forward to your class!

20 08 2013
Deanna Escobedo

This is great information! My son, Michael is very eager to start learning in your class.

21 08 2013
Kristi Czarnecki

Thanks so much! Kyle is very excited to be in your class this year!

22 08 2013
Kari Baranoski

Mr. Curtis,

What a fun website! Lexi was thrilled to find out she had you for literacy. Word on the street is that you’re an awesome teacher.. no pressure 🙂 Looking forward to meeting you next week!

Kari Baranoski

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