19 May 2016

Dear Kids,familytree5.19

I always enjoy talking with your families. It’s so much fun to get to know more about you, and it reminds me that you’re all way more than just students: you’re daughters, sons, brothers, cousins, and, most of all, people.

Thank you to all of you who came to conferences with your families, and I look forward to seeing more of you this afternoon.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

18 May 2016

mechanicalteacher5.18Dear Futurists,

The end of the school year is a good time to think about the future. Yesterday we read about some possible jobs in the future–drone engineer, aging specialist, water harvester. Today we’ll read a science fiction story about one author’s vision of the future.

When authors tell stories about the future, what they’re really talking about is how we live right now. By moving our lives to the future, we get to see our beliefs and actions in a new light. Sometimes, that makes them look silly, but it always forces us to reexamine them. Is what we believe true? Will it be true in the future? How can we tell.

Literature is really good about making us ask these questions.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

17 May 2016

hale5.17Dear Heroes,

What’s it mean to be brave? How do heroes show bravery in small ways or in big ways?

We’ve read about many brave acts while learning about the American Revolution. But none is more memorable than Nathan Hale uttering these words before he was hanged by the British: “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” We don’t know if those were his exact words, but we do know that Hale showed great courage in his final moments.

But it’s possible to show courage in small, ordinary moments as well. What can you do today to be brave?

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

16 May 2016

vik5.16Dear Appreciators of Truth and Beauty,

Yesterday I went to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and I saw a wide variety of art. What I noticed about all the art was that it reflected its artist’s vision about truth and beauty in the world. Artists are people who have dedicated their lives to finding interesting and unique ways to share those visions, but I believe that everyone is capable of creating their own unique vision of Truth and Beauty in the world. It might be the most essential human act.

Don’t just take the world as it is. Make it your own.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

4 April 2016

caseyatbat4.4Dear Fans,

Today is Baseball Opening Day. It’s a day of optimism and hope. It’s a day of sunshine and light after a long winter of waiting. It’s a day of tradition, when we think about how important baseball has been the the American character.

In honor of Opening Day, we’ll read one of my favorite poems. It’s long and it uses old words, but part the joy of reading is unlocking texts and figuring out what they mean. You’ll have a lot of deciphering to do in this poem, but it will be worth it.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

1 April 2016

exterminator4.1Dear Students,

Bad news: we have an infestation in our room. Today, exterminators have to come in and treat our classroom. So we’ll be traveling around from classroom to classroom. Whenever another class has their specials, we’ll be in their room.

Make sure you bring all of your materials with you. And remember to be a like a dead fish and “go with the flow.”

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

31 March 2016

writing3.31.jpgDear Writers,

You have something to say. The prize goes to those who find the most interesting way to say it. Just getting an idea down isn’t enough. You have to do it in a way that people find new and meaningful.

And writing is an active process. You’re not just putting your ideas down on paper; you’re actively figuring those ideas out. Writing is really about teaching yourself: about what you really think, about what the world is really like, and about your place in it.

That’s not an easy thing. But it’s a worthwhile thing.

Sincerley,

Mr. Heimbuck

30 March 2016

wethepeople3.30Dear We the People,

You get a say. No matter what your parents do, or how well you do in school, or how much money you make, you get a say in how we govern our country. That’s what rule by the people means. Don’t let anyone take it away from you.

My hope for you is that you get really, really good at reading, writing, and thinking. But not only so you can get into a good school, get a good job, drive a nice car, and be in a positon of power. I hope you do it so you have something of value to add to our world.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

29 March 2016

foodwaste3.29Dear Eaters,

Almost half of the food grown and produced in America is wasted. And one in seven Americans doesn’t have enough to eat. This is a problem.I wonder what you can do to help solve it.

I know we eat early in the day, but lunch time is fuel-up time. Your job at lunch is to get energy so you can be focused and engaged in the afternoon.

When you dump your tray today, ask yourself if you’re helping to solve America’s food waste problem or making it worse.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

28 March 2016

harrison3.28Dear Attention-Givers,

“Attentiveness is your main tool in life.” Jim Harrison

Lots of places and peole vie for your attention. They want your eyes, clicks, and time. Attention is a limited resource–you have to decide where you want to spend it. But the world goes on forever and ever.

If you think of your attentiveness as a tool, then you can get better at using it. And that’s good because in your life you’ll spend more time with yourself than with any other person.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck