(Names changed to protect the guilty)
Parent note #1: (Classes were reading Beowulf.)
"Johnny absolutely cannot read the book "Beowulf," because it is totally against our religious beliefs."
My note explained that students were taught reading, writing and thinking skills during study of this book. It also explained the following concepts students learn and think about in the "Beowulf" unit:
* Characters: how they change, motivation
* Theme: good wins over evil
* Symbolism: use of light and dark
* Style and figurative language: similes, personification
* Heroism: in classic literature and in our world today (9/11 fire-fighters, Rosa Parks, etc.)
* Life lessons: physical size is not necessarily a handicap; we are all capable of having hero qualities; use of brains rather than brawn is higher level social thinking
Parent note #2: (A student, who has two straight E's in my class and says he's trying his hardest, was doing math work in my language arts class. I took it from him.)
"I understand that you took Johnny's Math HomeWork from him in your Class. I am not fully aware of what actually Happened, What I do know is We are having enough trouble getting Johnny's Grades up. You Are to return this to him at ONCE so he does not get a zero for not turning in his homework. If this ever happens again in your class you are to notify me at Once. [sic]"