An Invitation To Write

TessaYesterday, I posted this picture to Instagram:

Loving the child and making connections goes beyond the instruction you are giving!

Letters is one way I keep that connection going.

A flood of memories came to mind. Letters are powerful. They provide a special connection between you and the recipient. It’s a life-long remembrance of feeling special, loved, invincible, cherished.


I received a letter from a student, her third, and I didn’t open it until I could savor her words. She decorated the envelope with “Surprise letter” and “I miss you so so so so so much. ❤ ❤ ❤ ” My heart swelled and my tears flowed. Years from now when she looks back to this pandemic crisis, letters of hope and cheer is one thing I want her to remember. I know I will.

HugLetters have become my virtual hug, my physical touch during a social-distancing pandemic. In the technological age, letters are scarce. An artistic greeting shares the personality of the writer. It’s an uninterrupted expression of one self, a voice that sends a message that can be reread many times.

With the recipient in mind, my letter is personalized and sent with encouraging goodness. It’s a platform to ask question to deepen the connection. The letter is an extension of me. It’s conferring about life and leaving each with a memento to move forward and a celebration of the present.


My smile broadens as I’m thinking of my students. I envision delight in my addressee. Just think – my letter can change the day for her, a surprise party in an envelope.

emmaHe will get excited and smile and remember his teacher still believes in him. Each will get a gift, a toast of cheer.

15 Responses to Letters

  1. A surprise party in an envelope! I love that. Maybe a return to letter-writing will become something good to come from these days. I used to write so many letters…

  2. elsie says:

    What delight for your students and then you when they write back. These are the memories they will carry forever. A hug in an envelope might just be what is needed until a real hug is allowed. I know your posts are a hug to your readers too. 🙂

  3. I have been watching artifacts of this sweet exchange on Instagram. It shows a creative solution to a difficult time. {{{Hugs}}}❤️

  4. That’s wonderful. I am tearing up… it’s good to be in your club. TEACHERS!!!!!

  5. Terje says:

    Oh, how sweet. So much love and care in the handwritten letters.

  6. lindabaie says:

    I’ve seen your posts, Mary Helen, think it is the most thoughtful & nicest thing I’ve seen any teacher do for students. My granddaughters’ teachers are not, & it would be a nice surprise, but they are talking individually with each student every week which the girls love. I am grateful for that for them. They miss school a lot! Thanks for knowing how much your “surprise parties” will mean.

  7. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    This just warms my heart. Letter writing is a lost art form, so maybe this pandemic might just bring that back for a little while. I know that your students will cherish these, as will you!

  8. Ruth Ayres says:

    I love the message on the back of the envelope — “surprise letter”! Your details make me feel like I held it in my hands, too. Thanks for writing.

  9. Michelle @litlearningzone says:

    I have always loved handwritten letters…and still do, but they just don’t happen like they used to. Maybe I need to start writing … I love that your little friends are enjoying your letters so much — and giving letters in return. Oh, how they will cherish those surprise parties!

  10. Trina Bartel says:

    Oh this is magic! I love that you are exchanging handwritten letters! It makes a huge difference. I bet the kids love their letters just as much (if not more) than you do!

    • MaryHelen says:

      I have had parents contact me via FB telling me how excited their kid was to get my letter. I’m just happy to send a little extra joy they can reread whenever they want.

  11. anne says:

    MaryHelen, your letters are inspiring me to send my own to our 6th grade Cubs.(Coming soon!) I love this line: It’s conferring about life and leaving each with a memento to move forward and a celebration of the present. I say, YES.

    • MaryHelen says:

      I am excited to hear this. You have the opportunity to talk with your kids, which is awesome. The letters will only deepen the relationship. I just listened to Jon Gordon today and he talked about teachers having the best gift to impact students. We don’t see the harvest but we are encouraged to plant seeds of greatness. I think letters is one way of doing that. Happy writing!

  12. mrsday75 says:

    I love that you are sending letters to your kids. It will bring such JOY to them when they open them and see how you have crafted that little note just for them.

  13. crushlevine says:

    I love the phrase “conferring about life.” It makes me think of the many roles we play as educators, and how we not only read and write alongside students in a workshop, but we also live and breathe and love alongside students in a workshop. You’ve given much to think about and treasure in this post!

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