There I am, up front, the middle-aged, short, skinny white lady, wearing tortoise shell glasses, with a boring-looking book in her hand.

So writes Besty Kalman, describing her remedial freshman composition class at a community college in Charleston, South Carolina. Betsy is one of my favorite people, and recently she wrote me a detailed, heartfelt letter about her first few weeks of teaching. She called it “News From the Front.”

This is my eleventh year teaching high school Language Arts on the other side of the country in Washington state. Some days I feel like I know a lot about my profession, and some days I know I know nothing. That is, I knew I would want to give Betsy more than I could technically offer.

So I wrote her. Then she wrote back, and I wrote her again—and soon we had an old-fashioned honest-to-god correspondence (if you forget that it happened on email). It worked out wonderfully. This week on Magical Teaching the skinny lady with the tortoise shell glasses and the host of this blogazine share letters of struggle and success. We hope our dialogue makes you laugh and wonder and eat cheap chocolate.



One Comment

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  1. December 10, 2012

    I’m so excited for this.

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