I've been busy with some of my teacher responsibilities this week. There have been grades to hand in and also recommendation letters. I don't get asked too often to write recommendations, so it's really a pleasure rather than a burden. I've had the privilege to teach some really smart kids and I like to have the opportunity to tell the world how great they are.
Last year a student asked me for a letter for some activity he was hoping to participate in. This was a smart kid, and not just test smart, but an actual deep thinker. Also quiet. Some teachers complained he didn't participate enough in class, which I never minded (I always knew I could count on him for an answer when his classmates were faltering). Quiet people are punished sometimes and I think there's actually a shortage of quiet observers in this world (and way too many people running off at the mouth, and way too much value given to said verbosity). Anyway, I was happy to write a letter for him. Once I had the letter, I wasn't sure of the protocol for getting school letterhead etc.. and I went to my department head. She told me what I needed to do, and told me to make sure I sealed the envelope before I gave it to the student. I did this and have regretted it ever since. He deserved to see the letter! He's a brilliant kid totally deserving of my praise. I decided after to give him a copy of the letter, but I didn't get the chance. It seems so stingy and it still bugs me.
This time I'll make sure the kids get to read my recommendations. And I really can't imagine why they shouldn't.