Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.17.15Thank You For (Cold) Calling on Me…

At Troy Prep, one of our Uncommon Schools, graduating 8th graders traditionally write thank you notes. They write them to anyone they want–teachers, parents etc.–for anything they want.  Principal, Lauren Catlett, recently shared a few with me. The notes are lovely and gracious. They include comments like:

  • “Mr. Belanger, Ms. Hernandez and Ms Strand, thank you for pushing me when you knew I could do better.”


  • “Mom and Dad, thank you for pushing me when I wanted to give up.”


One of the notes stood out a little more to me because it addressed teaching methods specifically.

The student wrote:

“Thank you for pushing me to do my best in every subject. I also thank Mr. Belanger for calling me for challenging problems even when I didn’t have my hand up.  I used to think that he did that on purpose just to mess with me, but it helped me a lot in order to take more risk in life…I thank you, everybody, for pushing me to do my best and to take risks even when it’s hard.”

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