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Help Me to Help You (and say thank you to my wife)…


Dear Teacher,

I don’t usually do this, and I rarely ask for anything in return for the work I do with Dear Teacher/Love Teacher…but I am going to veer from that today. I need to ask a favor…and it is not about me…it is really for my wife and her patience for the many years of me doing this and using our own money and a whole lot of time (that is taken away from her and our family as I work on things for the blog, Facebook, Instagram, etc…).

I started the blog in 2013 after a training that included how writing notes to students can help them build confidence and connect with you as a teacher. I loved it and started doing that. It made me think about how I could use that in my life. There was so little to encourage teachers. So I started writing notes to teachers and posting them. That led to this Facebook page and then the other social medias. I even had a Remind class to send texts to teachers for a couple of years.

(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

I was overwhelmed by the response. I definitely was not the only one who needed this. So I threw myself completely into this. I spend time and money on this because it was important. My wife understood and was willing to sacrifice the pieces of my that went into this. She is awesome! Along the way, however, I changed positions to work as a teacher at our district science center, and the commute to work became an hour round trip…that time led to my work here dropping off, and the longer I was out of the classroom, I felt like I had lost my voice in doing this.

Where I work, though, I see teachers every day in my job. I have seen morale plummet over the last couple of years, and I realized it was time to get the Dear Teacher machine running again. And I have. Again, not asking for anything in return.

My wife has been patient with it…but this time it is harder because I don’t have as much time to give every day. So…a vote for me for this cruise is a thank you to my wife for her patience and sacrifices for me doing this. Please consider giving this a vote, especially if you have enjoyed posts and images and have shared them. Please share this as well. My wife is amazing with letting me do this without complaint and completely deserves this! Please click on the link below and vote.

https://nclgivingjoy.com/voteme/30373/632448042?lc=eng

Thank you! You rock, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

DearTeacherLT2016 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

PS…you can learn more about me from the bio on the entry. Some of you have asked to know more about “the man behind the curtain.” Here is your chance. 🙂

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Teacher, You ARE Going to Make It


Dear Teacher,

This one is an old one, but it is a good one…and a short one! I can’t help but think someone out there needs to hear this today. You ARE going to make it, Teacher. You ARE making a difference. And you do TOTALLY ROCK!

DearTeacherLT2016 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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Just Another Manic Monday


Dear Teacher,

Let’s face it, Mondays are the worst.

They come to quickly. They stay too long. They don’t cooperate with is. And they usually and generally stink.

However much we don’t like them, they always come…and they always go. We make it through no matter what they throw at us. Even the baddest of the bad ones eventually go away.

But…I want to challenge you to think about them in another way.

Think about your students that may not have a stable living situation. They may move between family members. They may change apartments once every few months (after evictions are served). They may live at a shelter or in a motel. They may even live in a car.

Think about your students that may not always have enough food to eat away from school. Their parents may be between jobs. Their food money may be squandered away by caregivers. They may have the weekend backpack of food stolen. They may be hungry for any number of reasons.

Think about the students that may have a rough home life. They may see violence or be victims of it. There may be abuse…emotional, physical, or even worse. They may be surrounded by things and people you never dreamed of encountering.

Now, think about what Mondays look like to them.

Mondays can not come soon enough.

Mondays mean safety.

Mondays mean stability.

Mondays mean food.

Mondays mean love.

Mondays mean you…you who cares for them.

So…

Let this Monday be different for you. See it as a chance to see the kids that need you most. Allow it to be you chance to let them know they are loved and have a place in your class with you. And maybe bring and extra snack or two…just in case someone needs a little something hidden in their backpack.

You rock teacher! You do care and you are the reason that Mondays are special to some of those that need you most. Thanks for all that you do! Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher!

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Pep Talks and Color Copy Paper


Dear Teacher,

No matter what you are going through…

No matter what other people think…

No matter how you are feeling about this school year…

You ARE a great teacher!

You care for those kids.

You do whatever it takes.

You ARE making a difference!

You are awesome…room full of free copy paper awesome!

Please don’t give up! Take time and take stock of what is going right this year and focus on those things. See that you do matter and are doing a great job!

I am proud of you and know you can make it!

You really do rock, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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Remember What You Are, Teacher…


Dear Teacher,

I am writing this mid-week, but who knows when you might read it. No matter what day of the week or time of the school year, I want you to remember something…

YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN ANYONE CAN EVER KNOW!

The world at large has no idea what it means to be in your classroom with your kids this year. They want to boil what you do down to a formula or thing that can be measured. But it is not about numbers or about data. It is about what is behind each set of eyes that look to you everyday from those seats in your room. You try to know what they need and work hard to make sure that happens. It is hard to do with everything else you are asked to do, but that is your goal and that is your heart.

Not going for political thought here, but the legislators and federal and state admin do not have a clue what it means to be you in front of your class and meeting the needs that are there each and every day. They say that they care for the students…and I am sure that in some way that they do…but you are the eyes, hands, and heart that is actually there for the students. That is what drives you…those kids in your room. You are more important than what comes in a bill or document from somewhere far away from where you are. I know that those things effect you, and it is right to speak up…and it is right to speak up because you are those eyes, hands, and heart there for students. Don’t lose heart!

I could go on and talk about how school admin does not get you every day, how your friends misunderstand what it is you truly do for a living, how parents do not always see what you are seeing, and how students do not yet comprehend the hard choices you make that are best for them in the long run…but I won’t. Just know that I know and get it…and I want to encourage you to keep doing what you do.

You are amazing! Do not let all of the stuff that has been piled up on you destroy you today. Take today for what it is and make the best today for your students. No matter what is on you, YOU’VE GOT THIS!

Keep on going! Keep on fighting! Keep on teaching, Teaching!

Love, Teacher

PS…If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments. If you like the post and it encouraged you, please share…there are a lot of hurting teachers out there right now! And if you there are certain types of posts you would like to see more of or less of, or if you have an idea for a post for me to do, please let me know…dearteacher@outlook.com.

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Why We Need You, Teacher


Dear Teacher,

No one can really measure your worth. I mean really. There is no way to distill everything you do or simplify it into a formula.

Plain and simple, you are there for students. You know what to do in most situations in your classroom most of the time. If you don’t, you look for answers and experiment with solutions.

Programs are good, Curriculum is vital. Tests can help us know progress. But they are not you!

You can scan the room on Monday morning and know who has had a rough weekend and may need a little break, something from your desk that makes them smile, or just a simple hug.

You know the fine art of convincing students to try harder. You are keen on when and how to coach them through failures to master a concept. You are a pro at inspiring students not used to working at a problem until they solve it to do just that…work with grit until they get there. You know that being a little upset, and sometimes a few tears, are a part of the process for students like that. You know when to help and when not to, it is one of your gifts.

You are aware of your students at all times. You know authentically where they are in the content and stages of learning it. You don’t always need a data wall to tell what learning and growth is happening at those desks and tables in your classroom. You just know. It is who you are. It is what you do. And you know how to push each one just a little deeper in and higher up in what they know and can do.

This image belongs to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher.  If you use, link back to www.dearteacherloveteacher.com or to this blog post directly.  Thank you!
This image belongs to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher. If you use, link back to http://www.dearteacherloveteacher.com or to this blog post directly. Thank you!

You, my Teacher friend, are a professional. You are good at what you do. Without you we just have programs, curriculum, and tests. But education is oh so much more than that. Students are oh so much more than that. They need oh so much more than that.

Students need you. The system needs you. Education needs you. We all need you.

Thank you for each and everything that you do. Seriously, thank you! Thank you for fighting for students and for what is right. Keep it up. You know the stakes. You are worth it. You are awesome. And, as always, you rock.

Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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Where Have All the Teachers Gone?


The hallway is clean and shiny as if the floors have just been waxed this morning. You hear your footsteps echo in click-clacks down the hall as you walk slowly and peer into the rooms through the windows on the doors. The rooms are empty, but today you have a strange sense of curiosity about what this place was like some time in the distant past.

Your parents told you stories about what school was like for them. How strange it must have been to have an actual person in the room leading the class in discussions and activities that happened in the room you were in with them. You can not even imagine. Even when you were in school, instruction happened more from a distance and interactions with the others there with you were few and far between.

You stop at a room that you heard used to be a science class. As you look into the room that has been filled with rows of console stations, probably 40-50 total, you think about what it might of looked liked with lab tables and equipment for real experimentation. Holy crap, it must have been so unsafe. You pause at the thought, and then smile. You bet it was fun.

You remember your mom telling you that one of her teachers once brought in a balloon. You can’t remember what you said she told you it was filled with, but it floated like a helium balloon you recall from childhood birthdays. She said that the teacher lit a match on a long pole and touched it to the balloon and it turned into a fireball. A small one, but a fireball, all the same. It was probably frightening. But still, again you smile, it was probably also amazing.

As you think about that, you also have a memory of your mom telling you about the time that same teacher brought her family a pizza one Friday night. What a nice person to be willing to do that. She said that her parents gave the teacher money. You don’t know why. She also told you that the teacher had on a hat of the pizza company. The guy must have really liked that pizza.

As you walk away, saddened a little, you think about how when you were a student, there were seldom times you really knew your teachers. They were in the room some of the time, but it was more about checking on progress than teaching you anything. You had your digital learning system doing most of that work, so teachers did not have to worry about that much. They were too busy to help you learn because the digital systems were still glitchy when you were in school and they needed to work out the kinks.

Besides, as your parents told you, most of the great teachers they had or knew about moved on from the world of working with students. They said they could not afford to do it anymore. Teaching was a job that did not pay well and had a lot of responsibility. That must be part of the reason the profession was phased out. Even when you were in school a lot of states did not even use the word anymore.

Your title, Educational Facilitation Technician, does suit what the role has become better, anyway. Your facility only requires six total to handle the 600-plus student load. Efficiency is key. There is no need for the extra effort, because the learning systems handle all of that.

Still, you think as you arrive at your small office to load the systems to the consoles in the room, you think about how it might have been to be a teacher. As you sit down and launch the program to the rooms on your hall, your wonder where all of the teachers went to and those that might have become one are doing in the world that you live in.

With a sigh, you sit and watch the code on your monitors and wait for the learning to begin.