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Open Letter to My Former Fledgelings

Well, Fledgelings, this is it!  Start thinking of the bird name you want, cause you've made it to CALCULUS!  I am so looking forward to having another year with you, and I'm so excited to open up a new world of math to you. I see great potential in each of you, and I expect you to meet it and to develop it further.  I'll, of course, help you out along the way. I want each of you to grow in your talents so that you'll be ready to take on the world by this time next year.

I know you're thinking it's just another year of math, but this one is different.  Everything you've learned in Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus all comes together now. Calculus encompasses all of the "little things" you've been learning all along, and you will soon discover that there was a purpose for all of it. You see, Former Fledgelings, there is a reason why math rocks, and Calculus is only the beginning. There is only one thing you need to know right now:  Calculus is weird.  Get that in your head now; it's weird.  Don't panic on me; it's supposed to be weird.  There are a lot of abstract concepts in Calculus, and these concepts connect things that might not have seemed to connect before. So, Calculus is weird. Don't worry; I'll provide you with plenty of concrete examples to help present the abstract ideas.  It's going to be a whole new experience for you, and it might seem a little odd.  But once it clicks, math will never look the same.
Don't allow the aforementioned "weirdness" in the previous paragraph to intimidate you.  You'll be fine.  I only ask that you do your best.  Not the elementary "try your best."  I actually mean "do your best."  I know what each of you is capable of, even if you aren't so sure yet.  Each of you has a great potential, a best effort, and a best attitude.  I expect you to be at your best, and nothing less will suffice.  Allowing yourself to work your hardest, try something, be willing to get it wrong, be willing to repeat steps 1 and 2, and finally mastering it will be a learning experience that you will never forget, no matter what you choose to pursue in life.  I will give you the blend of challenges and guidance to make that learning experience happen in this class.  In return, you will do your best to go for it.  Sound like a plan?

You're no longer my Fledgelings; pick out a bird name, and we'll vote next week. I'm so excited to be getting y'all back, and, as promised, we will do a "highlight reel" of Pre-Cal concepts to make sure we are all on the same page. We will discuss this on the first day of class. I hope y'all have a great rest of the summer, and I will see each of you next week!

~ Ms. H