Goal: Let Students Know You Care in a Letter

Welcome to Cycle 7 of The 30 Goals Challenge: Make it Meaningful!

“Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.” – Henry Brooks Adams

Goal: Write a heartfelt letter addressed to your students letting them how much they impacted you this year or write a reference letter for students for their future teachers to read.

Accomplish this goal in 2 ways:

1. Write an end of the year letter letting your students know how much they impacted you. For inspiration, please check out Nicole Anderson Ellis’ End of the Year Letter for My Students and Shawn Storm’s A Thank You Letter to My Past, Present and Future Students.

2. Write a reference letter for your students for their future teachers to read. The idea is to make sure your students walk into next year’s class without any labels.

In Chapter 19 of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers I talk about the importance of removing the labels our students are given for poor choices. When they are young, they may have gotten in fights, cheated, etc. and this incident labels the student as a child as a troublemaker or bad kid. The label haunts them for life. Teachers see their files and forget the student was a child, a human being needing a second, third, or fourth chance to be guided to make better decisions. For most kids, once labeled, they lose the motivation to make better decisions. We can help remove labels of kids labeled as “bad” by writing a few sentences letting their future teachers know the great qualities of the student. In this way, we let future teachers know this kid had a teacher who believed in him/her.

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An Example Reference Letter

Your letter could be written like this:

Dear John’s/Jane’s Teacher,

I had the pleasure of being John’s/Jane’s 5th grade teacher. I am writing this letter to let you know what an incredibly smart, witty, and creative student you have the great opportunity to teach. John/Jane works best hands-on building incredible structures and took a great interest in computers. John/Jane often helped other students with any problems they had on the computer.

John/Jane and I have had many conversations about making positive choices and he/she has promised me to do the best in your class.

Thank you for being his/her teacher and helping John/Jane continue the next step of his/her learning journey.


Ms. Sanchez

​​​Earn a badge for completing this goal! 


BadgeNew to The 30 Goals Challenge? Each year, teachers worldwide aim to accomplish 1 to 30 goals that transform their teaching. Join the movement by accomplishing any goal from any of the cycles then letting us know through a blog reflection or status update on our Facebook community or on Twitter,@30GoalsEdu . At our official site, 30Goals.com, find all the goals, participant reflections, badges, and get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Classroom workbook. ​

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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