Last year around this time I was told to stop saying this phrase in my classroom. This meant that I could no longer speak aloud my entries into my imaginary diary. What had I done? I had offended a child, that, might I add, already didn’t like the class. If I would see a student that was off task I would “write” in my diary. Here is an example of how I would begin my diary entry: “Dear Diary, “Student A” still does not have a book open to read. I sure hope they get a book out to read, so that they can join the rest of the class. The end.”
What was meant to be a joke, or a funny way to grab the child’s attention to what I needed them to do, was taken as offensive by this student and their parent, with whom I taught with and spoke to everyday. Due to me being asked by my principal to pretty much discontinue with the phrase, yes, my grade level co-worker, went to the principal and not me about this. I mean why should she have? We only had grade level meetings together because we taught the same grade and I taught her child…but I digress.
My students began to realize that I no longer said Dear Diary, so they began to say it or they would say D.D. I had been saying “Dear Diary” since the beginning of that school year. If someone would ask a question that wasn’t necessary I would hear “Dear Diary”. If a student tripped over the invisible rock in the class, I would hear D.D. This showed me that my students understood my meaning behind it. It was something we were supposed to laugh about, because it was meant to be silly. No teacher wants to offend their students because that is the only thing the child will remember about you. They won’t believe that you are truly there to support them.
I had been using the phrase Dear Diary for years with my family. Especially with my brother-in-love.
Since I could no longer use it in my classroom, I decided to create a place where I could. It would be a place where I could freely express my thoughts and feelings “privately”. It took a while to figure out the platform to use, but here I am now. As in my classroom, I hope I do not offend anyone, but if I do, we can always talk about it. Please don’t report me to the principal…let’s just talk about it in the comments.
Originally posted March 11, 2016