Some fuel for the New Year.

It's January 1, 2018!

I can't believe it.

Tick Tock and all...

Each holiday season, I am overwhelmed when students and their parents think of me when they are planning gifts and cards.


This year, I got this hand-written note from a student:

No signature!

But that is classic middle school, right?

The photos are difficult to read, so here is what she wrote:

Mr. Duncan,

Thank you so much for providing a safe, fun classroom.  I have truly enjoyed the first half of this year, and both of your classes have been a big part of that.  I don't know if you remember this, but last year, the day after the election, after a morning I had spent crying uncontrollaby, you asked us how we were feeling and what we were thinking, as girls and as a diverse group of humans.  I don't think I have ever appreciated something that a teacher did more.  You have mastered the art of treating your students like humans who have complex feelings and thoughts.  So thank you for this semester and the past two years.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Even with 320 students walking through the doors to my classroom daily, I know in my heart who wrote it though.

And I am touched and grateful.

This one stuck because it's real and honest, and it cuts right to the heart of why I do what I do.

Teaching them to read music is challenging and important...but treating them as human beings has always been what is first in my heart and mind.

Do you hold onto letters like this?

I do.

They give me fuel.

Just like a car, airplane or rocket, we have to have it.

Wishing you the very happiest New Year.

Dale Duncan