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Monday, July 31, 2006

Recommended template for DOPA Letter



I am engrossed in planning my school year, with Marzano's "Classroom Management that Works" book as my guide.

Meanwhile, Doug Noon has created a great template for writing your letter to your Senators about DOPA.

How Senators look at feedback

From my days as an aide in Senator Nunn's office, I will tell you that letters and e-mails do count. When I worked there, we kept tally sheets for all house bills and issues. We marked every phone call and contact on these sheets along with any notes and selected the letter that would be returned. We also passed along any letters of significance up "the food chain" to see if there was need for a more customized response.

When voting came up, we provided the Senator with a tally sheet on what his constituents were saying. The point is, you need to get people to call, write, and e-mail their senator. Here is the directory of Senators.

Distraction

I remember in Robin Hood when Kevin Costner jostled a little boy who was practicing his archery skills. The little boy was perturbed and shot his arrow into the woods.

Cocky Robin got up and got ready to shoot and Maid Marian said, "Let's see how you can handle distraction." As he shot, she quietly blew in his ear. His arrow careened into the woods.

Whether the distraction is positive or negative, it is a distraction. The Marzano book and every smidge of research I've read says that the first day of school is the most important. That is when you establish your procedures and discipline.

I am having to refocus from DOPA to keep my "eye on the bullseye" so to speak. Many teachers are in the same boat.

Act now!

So, copy Doug's letter, change your name and the Senator's name and e-mail it right now! Then get back to planning! Don't waste a lot of time constructing a letter that will not be read unless you personally know the Senator. Copy it and send it right now!

Remember your calling!

Keep the faith and remember that teaching is a noble calling. Act like it!

Hold your head up high and remember that the greatest things you will do in your life will be things for which you do not get paid.

Wet cement is the only cement that will hold a mark. Make your mark count. Let it be for encouragement, hope, love, laughter, and learning. Never settle and NEVER give up! Children are a gift!


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