Every Little Thing Teachers Do…


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DearTeacherLT2017 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

Dear Teacher,

The image says everything I want to say.  No, I am not saying that EVERYTHING we are required to do is worth it…not meaning this to be political in anyway, but not all we do is for a purpose for the sake of students (though I think some of that stuff is meant to do that)…what I am saying is that all of those little unspoken, unsung, and unnoticed things you do for the students because you have their best interest in mind do matter and make a difference.  And I just want to thank you for those things!

Thank you for buying food for those kids who don’t get enough.

Thank you for buying extra pencils because a pencil is not worth the fight.

Thank you for the walks you take with some kids at recess.

Thank you for always trying to make your lessons better to connect with those struggling students.

Thank you for putting your students and their needs before everything else!

It is your heart.  It is who you are.  It is what you do.  It is what makes you an amazing teacher.  So thank you, thank you, thank you!

You are awesome!  You matter!  And you do make a difference!  Thank you for you!  You rock!  Keep on being you and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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A Little Time for You, Teacher


Dear Teacher,

Yes, a new year is coming.  It is true.  But summer has a little time left for you.  Don’t let your hopes, dreams, and anxieties about the next group you will be teaching take up all of the moments that remain.  Remember not to forget to carve out a little space for yourself, your family/friends, and all that you love doing that take the back-burner during the school year.  You know doing so helps you to be centered, relaxed, and ready for the challenges ahead.  That means getting ready for next year requires you to be a little selfish.  It is okay.  I promise.  Your next class(es) need you to.  When you are relaxed and ready, you can change the world!

So take some time for you.  You deserve it.  You need it.

Did I mention that you rock and are an amazing teacher and person?  Well, you are!  Take that time for you…and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Rested_and_Ready

DearTeacherLT2017 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

Lacing Up Your Shoes…A New Year is Coming


DearTeacherLT2017 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

Dear Teacher,

You never cease to amaze.

Despite each year before,
and after a little rest,
You look forward to the next
And are ready for some more.

This a part of who you are,
It’s what makes you great.
It’s what makes you amazing.
It’s what makes you a teacher.

You take the bumps.
You take the lumps.
You heal the bruises
And you get back up again.

DearTeacherLT2016 – This image is a part of the Motivational/Growth Mindset ABCs-volume two (click for more information…these posters will be great for your classroom next year! 🙂

No matter what happens
You find a way to rally
You lace up your shoes
And you start again.

You know the road is hard.
You know the road is long.
You know the way is not easy.
You know the way is tough.

But you also know
That you can take it.
You know that the end
is worth the journey.

This a shirt designed by a friend of mine…you know I love the message! Click the picture to find out how to buy the shirt.

This is who you are.
This is what you do.
This is in your soul.
This is the heart of a teacher.

Students are worth the pain.
Students are worth the struggle
And you DO make a difference.
This year will be the same.

Don’t be ashamed to be excited.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
The coming year is yours.
You CAN do this all again.

You are incredible.
You are awesome.
And you ROCK!
Thank you for being you.

Love, Teacher

It’s the End of the Year (as we know it)


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DearTeacherLT2017 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

Dear Teacher,

I have decided to return from the blogging dead…for a little while, at least. I am sorry that this year has gotten away from me. Because of the amount of creativity I use where I teach and work now, it is hard to find the time and energy to write something that I think will be worth your reading and that will encourage and inspire you.

So I want to try something else…

I want to use the summer to randomly put up other types of posts than just my normal pep talks. That doesn’t mean the pep talks are over, but the summer is a great chance to throw more into the mix and spice things up. I am going to use other sides of my creativity to try to make you laugh, cry, and, above all else, encourage your teaching soul. There will be stories, poetry, more doodle-type posts, and whatever else might come up.

All I ask is that you let me know what you think and give me a bit a feedback about what’s going on with you and how I can help keep your teacher fire burning. And if you like something, share it. 🙂 I know you will, because you rock!

So how did this year go for you, by the way? What worked? What didn’t? How are you going to recover from the year over the summer?

As always, I totally believe in you and know that you made a difference this year! You are an AMAZING teacher! Get some rest and relaxation in this summer! Remember to take time for yourself. Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…I am closing an attempt at impromptu poetry.

You Can’t Measure

I stare blindly at the list –
The yearly scavenger hunt
The things to do
The signatures to gather –
And the wonder creeps in…
Where did the year go?

I’m not sure it can be measured

I look around the room
I see it all from day one
I see the laughter, drama, and life
Most of all I see the growth
Students came in as babies
And left as young adults

I know that you can’t measure that

When the year started
I was full of life and ideas
It wasn’t long until that changed
And I was barely hanging on
The ups were high
The downs were low

And there is no measure in between

I was ready for the end
But then it came and I was not
It’s hard to let go
(Even the ones I wished would leave)
I saw them grow
I saw them blossom

They don’t make measurements for this

Now the only noise is me
And the student echoes have dimmed
I remember it all
The good and the bad
I would not trade any of it
And I will carry them with me

You definitely can’t measure that

Dear Teacher – Be Kind to Yourself


DearTeacherLT2017 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

Dear Teacher,

The year is almost over…and it has been a rough one.  You tired.  You are beat up.  You are beat down.  And you are not alone.

A lot of teachers, or dare I say – most teachers feel the way that you do.

Even though you know that you can not control most of the factors that go into making this a tough year, you can not help but feel responsible for it, or at least what has happened in your classroom

As you reflect on this school year, I want to make one request of you: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEEEEAASE BE KIND TO YOURSELF!

Despite how this year may have gone, you are a great teacher.  Be kind to yourself and know that.

No matter how you feel people think about you and your teaching performance, you have made a difference in the lives of your students.  Be kind to yourself and see that.

Even if test scores weren’t great and things seldom went as planned, you focused on your students and you have helped them grow as human people and learners.  Be kind to yourself and believe that.

And, heaven forbid, you think you can’t go on one more year and you are not cut out for this teaching life anymore, you really can do this again, you are made for it, and your students need you!  Take a deep breath, be kind to yourself, and acknowledge that you are a teacher through and through.

Good things did happen this year.  You did make a difference.  And you were (and ARE) a great teacher!

Please be kind to yourself and know that this is true.

Yes, please reflect and plan for needed changes next year, but also be kind and see all of the positive, too.

You are a great teacher!  You are making a difference!  Thank you for all that you are and do!  Keep on teaching, Teacher.  You ROCK!

Love, Teacher

It’s Not that Simple


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It’s Not that Simple

“You get a break,” they say
“Teaching is not so hard.”
“It must be nice to have time off.”
But it just is not that simple
It’s really not that easy

Nothing is that easy

Time and rest are not the same
Either are jobs and passions
Work can be more than just work
And time off means more too
Time can also be a little space

Teachers need room to breathe

Teaching is more than working
So much more than what we do
It is our life and our heart
It is our mind and instinct
Teaching’s in our blood

Teaching make us who we are

Our stress is not our stress
Our work is not our work
Our time is not our time
Our passions are not our passions
And our lives are not our lives

We live and work for more

No human can sustain this
No one can live only for others
No person can do this forever
The momentum can destroy
And the inertia can tear apart

One must come to a rest

Rest means space and room
Rest means time to breathe
Rest means remembering who we are
Time is recharging and returning
Time is finding ourselves again

We must be able to heal

So yes, it does seem nice
It looks like a little vacation
But it really is not that simple
It is more and it is vital
It is the only way we can keep going

Students need us to breathe

Teacher, YOU Have Got This!


Dear Teacher,

I have shared this image on Facebook before and you have probably seen it elsewhere, but I saw it this morning and want to share it here with you because I feel like this is one of the best (and funniest) metaphors for teaching.  It is our teaching life!

I share it with you today because I want to remind you of something…

YOU HAVE YOUR OWN FIRES TO DEAL WITH IN YOUR CLASSROOM (and life…but we are going to focus on the classroom part)!

You have got to stop worrying about what other teachers are doing, what your administration thinks of you, and how you look to others.  You are uniquely wired for your classroom.  You are the best at knowing what your students need.  And you have skills, talents, and abilities that others don’t.

Be you.  Focus on your students.  Let those fires be the ones you are dealing with.

Everyone else can ride their own “fire bike.”

So what if your classroom is not the poster-perfect, Pinteresting classroom your teammate has.

So what if there is a chaos in your classroom that others don’t understand because you are trying to embrace something new like PBL.

So what if your students a little louder in the hall than some of the others because you decided to take stands with other behaviors.

So what if you have a wildly different teaching style and you constantly have to defend it.

SO WHAT?

You are perfect for your classroom.  You are perfect for your students.  You are perfect for your situation.

Know who you are and what you are good at and own it…and then get on that fire bike and ride like hell!  (okay, sorry for using that word…but it feels like it fits so well with the analogy!)

You’ve got this, Teacher!  Don’t worry about the others.  Be you and who you need to be for your students!

Be confident in what you are good at.  Work on the things that need work…sure.  But be kind to yourself enough to acknowledge what you are great at and run with that.  Let your awesomeness show to your students.  No one else needs to have an opinion!

Be you.  Be awesome.  Ride your fire bike with your unique style!

Did I mention that you’ve got this?

Oh, and side note…realize that everyone else is riding their own fire bikes…cut them a little slack!

Anyway.  Your fire bike is awesome.  You are awesome.  Be you and know you have what it takes to make a difference for your students…you already are!  Keep riding that bike and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher