During my first Classroom Guidance class with all 8th through 9th graders, I had students write a letter to their future selves. Students began by brainstorming ideas for their letter using a graphic organizer, essentially creating a time-capsule of thoughts that would be returned to them at the end of the school year. They were encouraged to write down special memories of their first few days of school that they didn’t want to forget.
Were they feeling nervous? Were they particularly excited about a new class? Did they figure out how to work the lock on their locker? What advice would they give themselves to have the best possible year at MMI? What words of encouragement could they use to get through a challenging class or while studying for their first test of the semester?
They were encouraged to write about both short-term and long-term goals as well as their plans for the future. While it is often helpful to write goals in a place where they can be seen every day, it will also be fun to look back at goals that have been recorded in August, sealed in an envelope, and returned in May. 6th and 7th grade students filled in a similar graphic organizer in which they wrote about what they are most looking forward to this school year, anything they are feeling a bit nervous about, and what they hope to learn by the end of the year.
Students will likely be surprised how their feelings, hopes, peer relationships, and goals change over the course of nine months. It will be fascinating to see how their dreams and desires evolve not only throughout the 2015-2016 school year, but throughout their time at MMI!