We’re not crying, you’re crying. Arts teacher Justin Parmenter asks parents to write handwritten notes for students to help support them through ‘rough days’
We all know how difficult school life can be. Whether you had a good experience of school or are thankful to no longer be there, we can all remember the difficulty of having to balance coursework, social life and well, growing up.
To make school life more manageable for students, Arts teacher Justin Parmenter at Waddell Language Academy in North Carolina asked parents to write a special note to their child to read when they are having a hard day.
Speaking to CBS News, Parmenter said: “This is an activity that helps to bring down that barrier a little bit and bring parents into the classroom in a way, and show the child that we understand you need support in a lot of different ways.”
When asked why the notes needed to be from the parents, he said: “I knew that at that moment when they really needed a boost that they will be able to hear it in their parents voice, and it would feel like it was their parent speaking into their ear and telling them what they needed to hear.”
One note read, “No matter what happens today I will always love you and be there for you. My hug is waiting for you when you get home.”
To her son Marcus, Tricia Freeman wrote, “This card says I’m so happy for you. What might seem funny on a day that isn’t the best. You shine, son.”
“Knowing that he was going to get this card and that I was going to have an opportunity to say something to him that I probably wouldn't have. It’s just really special to me,” said Freeman.
Another parent said, “It really tells me a lot about that teacher and how he sees the kid not just as a student, but he sees them as a whole.”
Thirteen-year-old Carmen started to cry when she received her note. Written in Spanish by her mother, she told CBS that it made her cry “because she wrote it with love and she says you can always count on me and that you have to fight hard for what you want.”
Since sharing his story, Parmenter has received support from all over the world, with teachers from India and Australia wanting to do the same. He’s inspired many, including us.
Whether a friend, sibling, parent or child, maybe all of us should write a handwritten message this weekend, to show our love and support for one another. Why not?