Posted in General Inspiration, Get Psyched!, Theme Song

Stronger (what doesn’t kill you)

(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to this blog.)
(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to this blog.)

Dear Teacher,

Sorry for the tardiness of the weekly theme song, but I was running late this morning.  Fortunately, my lateness helped me finally decide on the song…I debated a few.  I usually write my posts in the morning, but I did not get to do so today and a lot has happened in the meantime!  I was able to find out the results of the state tests this year for my students…and the scores did not quite meet up to my expectations…so I definitely need today’s song.  As a matter of fact, the song has been in my head ever since I read the scores.  This week we are going to focus on the fact that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!

You know the drill.  Play the song and then continue reading.

You are teacher.  You have high expectations.  You have high expectations for your students.  You have high expectations for yourself. You have high expectations for the year.

Sometimes the expectations are realistic and easily attainable.  Sometimes the expectations are lofty and nearly impossible.  Both types of expectations are valid and important.  Attainable goals help give you benchmarks to reach throughout the year.  Nearly impossible goals give you a target to aim towards a trajectory to head out on.

Unfortunately, when all is said and done you have to measure up to the expectations.  Often, the realistic goals are reached, but sometimes the aren’t.  Seldom are the lofty goals met, but sometimes they actually are.  Either way, there is usually a mix of celebrations and letdowns at the end when you start to reflect.  Sometimes the celebrations are huge…but sometimes the letdowns are even bigger.

It is important to take a good look at the failures you have regarding your expectations (both realistic and lofty ones).  I mean, take a good long look at them.  They are a mirror.  You will be tempted to point fingers as to why this happened, but that is not the way to get better in light of the letdowns.  You need to use them as a mirror to let you see where to improve.  You and look and see what you can do differently.  What you can change.  You can see where you need help.  You can use it to identify your deficits and look for resources to help you with them.  Failure is a chance to rebuild.  It is a chance to start over.  It is a chance to start the changes in others by focusing on the changes you need to make in yourself.

What doesn’t kill you, as a teacher, does make you stronger.  It makes you a better teacher, if you will let it.

  • Not meet your goals for state tests?  How will you change and do things differently to change this next year?
  • Have difficult situations to face at your school?  How will you be different and rise above these challenges and push through them in order to be a better teacher for you students?
  • Have students that you did not handle well last year?  What will you work on to help you do change the dynamic with similar students in the years to come?
  • Was classroom management an issue?  What are you learning, reading, or working on to help you change this?  You set the tone and the attitude in your classroom.  How are you going to do this differently from now on?
  • Have issues with coworkers or other people in the learning community?  What are you going to do to make a difference in these relationships?  What can you do?  Who can you go to for help?

Unmet goals and difficult circumstances will not kill you.  If you let them, they will make you a leaner and meaner (figuratively speaking) teacher from this point on.  Hold up the mirror to yourself and start making the changes you can make.  I know that you can.  I know that you will.

You are awesome!  Keep surviving.  Keep letting each new challenge make you better than before.  You are amazing!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…The picture at the top of the page  is of the Survivor Tree at Ground Zero (World Trade Center) in New York.  This tree was the only thing left standing in the aftermath…and it is thriving today.



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

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