Posted in Cheer Up, Hope For Students, Hope for Teachers, New Day

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(c) Joseph Blizzard
(c) Joseph Blizzard

Dear Teacher,

I do not know what yesterday was like for you.  I can guess that it was probably one of three possiblities, though, because that is usually how it goes as a teacher.

It might have been a great day.  Everything you wanted to do worked out.  Everythng you touched turned gold, so to speak.  Your students did exceptionally well.  Every class that you taught was a masterpiece.  Your administration thought that you are a jewel and model of an ideal teacher.  Things just went well.  Those days are few and far between, but they do happen.  If it happened for you yesterday, I salute you and celebrate with you!

It may have been a bad day.  These days are pretty much the opposite of the golden days.  Everything you touch turns to…well, you know.  Nothing goes right.  The students had the worse behavior day that you can remember.  Computers did not work.  Your projector went down or blew up.  There were no supplies.  There were classroom interuptions.  Your administration was at your back and heaping more work on you than you can possibly take care of in a day, week, or year.  It was an altogether bad day.  Unfortunately, we have these days far more than the golden ones.  Teaching is hard work and can give us disappointing days.  If this was your day yesterday, I feel you and share your fustration.

Then there is the third option: the “blah” day.  Some people may call it a normal day.  Things went exactly as you expect.  There were ups and down, but nothing extreme.  You taught well enough.  Most students seemed to pay attention, and some even seemed to retain some of the knowledge.  You did okay.  It was an okay kind of day.  Your lesson and strategies were adequate, though you weren’t earning teacher of the year or anything.  It was just, well, blah.  Mediocre.  Common.  These are the days that happen more than most for a lot of teachers.  If this was your day yesterday, then I understand.  I know what they are like.  For me, these are the ones that get to me.  Too many of these days in a row and life as a teacher can get pretty boring.

I know there are a lot of peaks, valleys, and variations between these three types of days.  I simplified a bit, but I think you understand what I am getting at.  We all either had a great day, a bad day, or a day somewhere in between.  Thus is the life of the teacher.  Days like these strung into weeks, weeks bunched into quarters, quarters paired into semesters, and semesters connected into a school year.  But, each day is different.  Each day is new.

No matter what kind of day you had yesterday, today is a new one.  Don’t bank on yesterday’s great day, focus on making today even better.  Don’t let yesterday’s bad day set you up for another bad day today.  Don’t self-fulfill prophecy!  Make today good.  Or at least look for the good that is there today even if it turns out to be another bad one.  And don’t settle into yesterday’s mediocre.  You are better than that, teacher friend.  Make today an extreme…great risk brings great reward!  Teach like you mean and stop sitting back and letting the year fall away!

You are too awesome to let yesterday determine today.  Take the blank page and start writing.  Start drawing.  Start something.  Make today the day you want it to be.

AND…don’t forget your students need to learn to do the same.  Help them through the bad yesterdays.  Give them a blank page with you today.  Help them to learn to make each day better than the last.  You don’t know what they are truly going through all of the time, but you can help them learn to work through it and view each day as a new page to write or draw on.  You are awesome, help your kid learn to be awesome, too.

You are a great teacher, and don’t you forget it!  Keep on teaching, teacher.  Make today great!  I know that you can.  I believe in you!

Love, Teacher

For more hope and encouragement: @DearTeacherLT



I am a middle school teacher who lives in the upstate of South Carolina.

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