Recommended template for DOPA Letter

I am engrossed in planning my school year, with Marzano's “Classroom Management that Works” book as my guide.

Meanwhile, Doug Noon has created a great template for writing your letter to your Senators about DOPA.

How Senators look at feedback

From my days as an aide in Senator Nunn's office, I will tell you that letters and e-mails do count. When I worked there, we kept tally sheets for all house bills and issues. We marked every phone call and contact on these sheets along with any notes and selected the letter that would be returned. We also passed along any letters of significance up “the food chain” to see if there was need for a more customized response.

When voting came up, we provided the Senator with a tally sheet on what his constituents were saying. The point is, you need to get people to call, write, and e-mail their senator. Here is the directory of Senators.


I remember in Robin Hood when Kevin Costner jostled a little boy who was practicing his archery skills. The little boy was perturbed and shot his arrow into the woods.

Cocky Robin got up and got ready to shoot and Maid Marian said, “Let's see how you can handle distraction.” As he shot, she quietly blew in his ear. His arrow careened into the woods.

Whether the distraction is positive or negative, it is a distraction. The Marzano book and every smidge of research I've read says that the first day of school is the most important. That is when you establish your procedures and discipline.

I am having to refocus from DOPA to keep my “eye on the bullseye” so to speak. Many teachers are in the same boat.

Act now!

So, copy Doug's letter, change your name and the Senator's name and e-mail it right now! Then get back to planning! Don't waste a lot of time constructing a letter that will not be read unless you personally know the Senator. Copy it and send it right now!

Remember your calling!

Keep the faith and remember that teaching is a noble calling. Act like it!

Hold your head up high and remember that the greatest things you will do in your life will be things for which you do not get paid.

Wet cement is the only cement that will hold a mark. Make your mark count. Let it be for encouragement, hope, love, laughter, and learning. Never settle and NEVER give up! Children are a gift!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Anonymous August 1, 2006 - 7:13 pm

Liz here from I Speak of Dreams. You are doing great work here, and I’ve been leaving links to your posts all over.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere