To My Future Students

To My Future Students

I'm so lucky to be called your teacher.

Dear Future Students,

First off, I want you to know that I am so honored to be your teacher. On the first day of school, I may look a little scary, and you’ll be a little nervous. Trust me; I will be too. I’m nervous because I’m scared that you won't like me or that you will hate my classroom. I’m nervous that I won’t be a good enough teacher to teach all of the things you need to learn by the end of the year. You may think it’s crazy for me to be nervous, and it is a little. All I want to do is be the best teacher for you. When I think about teaching you, I know that you deserve the best, and I can only hope that I am good enough for you. When it comes to the first day, I will smile a lot and will ask you questions. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, but I just want to learn as much as I can about you so that I can make school as enjoyable as I can.

I don’t want to learn about you just for fun, but I also want to learn about you so that I can understand you better. I want to learn about your learning styles and what subjects interest you the most. I want to know you well enough, so when I think that you are having a hard time with something, I can get you the help you need so you don’t fall behind. Even though I’m getting you extra help, I don’t think you’re dumb or stupid. Getting additional help doesn’t mean that you aren’t as smart as everyone else; you are smart no matter what. I want to help you succeed not only in my classroom but outside of it as well.

I will try my best to make you feel comfortable enough in my classroom that you can tell me anything. Please, don’t get annoyed with me if I ask you how you’re doing or if I want to know if something is wrong. I know that may get on your nerves, and I’m sorry. I just want you to be happy. I also want you to know that I will do my best to keep you safe. If I think that your environment outside of school is not safe, I will do my best to get you into a safer one. If you feel that I’m being mean or taking you away from the people you care about, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings; I just want you to be okay.

My job is to not only teach you the common core standards, but it’s also to help shape you into being successful.


Your Future Teacher

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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It Is OK To Miss Home, Even When You Love Your School

Homesickness does not discriminate.


Not even an hour after rolling out of bed, I am on the phone, talking to my mom, who has gotten up at 6 am to get on our daily phone call. This is our routine; eat, talk, go off to classes, and talk again.

For the entirety of my senior year of high school, I could not wait to finally leave home and be independent. I thought that my independence was defined by the idea that I would finally be on my own, making my own mark in the world without the word of my parents affecting my decisions. I cannot believe how wrong I was.

From day one of college, I knew I was going to need to talk to my mom. From calling about all the new people and things I was experiencing, to sending me pictures of my dog Sadie (who I miss very much), I had to come to terms with the fact that being in touch was something I not only wanted, but needed. Before I got to Madison, I believed my independence was solely defined by leaping off the cliff into adulthood. I failed to recognize that instead of a jump, it is a slow, often rocky, climb down.

As many college freshmen may agree with me on, there comes a time in the semester where missing home becomes an intense feeling. Unfortunately for me, my homesickness has always tended to set in early (like the second-day type of early). My strategy for combating this was to recognize how I was feeling, and talk to the people I know best. My best friend from home is my mom, and acknowledging this has helped me so much in the last month.

Before this past Monday, I was not going to go home for Thanksgiving. Airfare is ridiculous, and I have family members in Milwaukee who would have loved to have had me for the holidays. I thought I could tell myself not to listen to my heart, and to make the practical, convenient choice. When you long for home and familiarity, no amount of reasoning, logic, and practicality can convince your heart that it feels otherwise. Trusting yourself in this regard is essential.

I have now started to accept that my home is actually where my heart is, no matter how much I wanted to leave. The fun things I am doing, the people I am meeting, and the classes I am taking, no matter how much I enjoy them, will never surmount the little hole left in my heart as I plow forward into adulthood. I am fortunate enough to know that while my life may be changing, even though it is for the better, I will always have a place at home, and a family who shows me unconditional love.

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