I wanted to talk about another cool return that I received recently. It was from Shane Nelson, former linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in the late 70s and early 80s. He signed a pocket pro helmet for me and wrote me a 5 page letter in response to my questions and his playing days. It was just incredible. He also included 4 8x10s of his own. One was of him talking the great Walter Payton and another one was sacking Bert Jones. He also included his email and I have corresponded with him a couple of times. I have used two of the things that he wrote in my classroom. One of the sayings he wrote was focus, effort, and commitment leads to success. I loved that and put it up on my wall above the whiteboard and have my students repeat it probably once a day. It really resounds with me because all three of those things are important. The other thing he discussed was that in his family they celebrate effort and that trying your best is celebrated no matter the outcome. I think that was important for my second graders to hear so it is also on my wall now. If they give their best, I am happy. We can work on what they are struggling with but if the effort isn't there, it makes it tougher.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to get Shane Nelson's autograph and it is so funny how sending someone a letter asking for an autograph could change my classroom for what I believe is for the better. Thank you Mr. Nelson.