It starts with your head tilting up
And your eyes settling on the horizon
YOUR face in direction you need to go
You straighten you back and lean
Body turned in sync with your eyes
You steady one foot and then the other
You move forward and then you rise
Resolute, assured, and ready you rise
You move on leg and then the other
Your strides grow longer as you progress
You can do this now and the race is yours
Just keep moving
Just keep going
One foot and then the other
You work hard. You pour yourself out every day. You give of yourself day in and day out. You sacrifice time and effort (and money) constantly for those young minds in your classroom.
You give yourself away and lose yourself to make a difference in the lives of those kids.
However, it is possible in all of the everything that you do, to get lost and forget who you are and where you are…and why you do what you do.
It happens to all of us. And as responsibilities increase for teachers, it happens more and more and more. It gets easy to get totally lost.
It used to be easy to find our way back to our why, but that is becoming something more challenging to do. I am finding out about increasing amounts of the best teachers I have ever met not making their way back home…and they are leaving the profession.
And I don’t blame them. However I hurt for the students that will miss out on their greatness.
I know there is only so much that we can do about the extra being heaped upon us, but we can deal with us and what we do when we are lost. We can find new ways to be centered and leave a path back to our why and who we really are as people away fro teaching.
And I think that is part of it. We have to remember our non-teaching self and make time for the things and people that we love. This centers us. This makes us whole. Even if it means missing deadlines or drawing lines in the sand you have to defend, you need to make this a priority. Losing your teaching self in your non-teaching self will renew your passion for students.
I will not fix the extras, but it will bring you back to you and why you teach. Students do need you and you are totally making a difference!
You do rock. You are awesome. And I completely believe in you! Keep on teaching, Teacher!
I know it feels like this week should have ended ten days ago. I know you knew it was a bad sign when it felt like the end of Friday hallway through Monday. I know you have almost nothing left to give and you are just running on fumes. I know that you passed you already passed burnout and “I just can’t” is on the horizon.
Don’t lose hope! Hang in there! Know that you are not alone. You are one off us. You are a time traveling teacher!
The clock has no hold on you. The calendar is impervious to your powers. Time stands still for you more than it moves!
Fear not. The future will come, and with it the weekend! Push forward. Keep moving. You’ve got this!
You are doing a great job this week, Teacher! You are making a difference. And you totally rock! Don’t give up!
Well, I am a day late, but it is still early in the week and I bet we could all use a theme song for it…especially those who had a day off yesterday. So let’s get to it. This song is going to be a “blast from the past” for a lot of us, but for some it may be the first time to hear this song. Whether it is new to you or a reminder of more youthful days, this song is a great theme for teachers and one we should hear and think about.
Click play, get through the ad if there is one, and then read on.
Teacher, like it or not, we are heroes. We fight battles, we run into danger, and we do…
If you only follow or catch- up with me here at the blog, you have been missing some pretty fun stuff happening in the social media pages. There have been some cool, inspiring, and funny images being shared. I decided to do a round-up animated gif of the ones I have created to get you all caught up. Let me know what you think! And if you don’t you should follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is @DearTeacherLT for each of them.
I hope you have the grandest of weeks, Teacher friend!
You rock. You are awesome! And I totally believe in you!
PS…I was nominated to win a cruise for teachers! If you have enjoyed any of the posts or social media images, please take a moment and vote! Even if you have voted for someone else, you can vote for other people as well. The nomination leaves out the work here at Dear Teacher/Love Teacher because most people that know me in the real world do not know I do this (I feel like a superhero in this way!)…but it is my work here which makes me want to win a cruise. My wife has sacrificed a lot of me for this passion project of mine (time, money, and effort), and she totally deserves this cruise as a thank you for this. Please vote and share if you would like to support what I do here. Thank you! https://nclgivingjoy.com/voteme/30373/632448042?lc=eng
I usually only write to teachers to encourage them, challenge them, and give a little hope in impossible situations. However, today I have something on my mind. You and I need to have a little talk.
Every day, some teacher wakes up thinking about your child. That same teacher, and other teachers, spend the week days working with your child trying to get him or her to see the best in themselves and get that best out of them. Every night, those teachers think about what went well, what didn’t, and how to be the best teachers they can be for the sake of your child.
Even on the weekends, holidays, and over the summer, chances are that there is a teacher, and probably more than one, with thoughts about your child and how much the hope for your child’s future.
Whether you think this is happening or not, I guarantee you that it is. You may not always agree with every teacher every year, but they do have the best interest in mind for your child…and most of the time they sincerely care about your child and their past, present, and future. The ones that care the most are probably wearing themselves out for the sake of your child.
And they do this willingly.
Teachers get into to teaching because they care about kids and want to help them grow in the potential they have. They love watching students become learners and critical thinkers. They love the process of learning and growth of the mind and watching students become the people they can be. This is their heart. They truly care.
This care shows up differently from teacher to teacher. Some teachers are experts at directly connecting to your child. They nurture the emotional as well as the educational side of their students. Other teachers are content magicians. They make subjects come alive to children and inspire them to pursue careers later in life out of pure joy and wonder that was instilled by a passionate teacher. Some teachers make everything about learning fun. Some share their lives and make the students invest in them as a person because they make students care. And I could go on and on…but the care that teachers have for students is real even if it looks different from class to class.
And it is the teachers that work the hardest from the point of their care for students that make the biggest difference.
I mean think back to when you were in school. Which teachers do you remember? I remember a fifth grade math teacher that made everything about math seem like the best thing in the world. I remember a middle school French teacher that made us care about French because she made learning it fun. I remember an English teacher in high school that made me care about Shakespeare because he cared so much about Shakespeare. And I had a math teacher in high school that I am friends with to this day because she cared for me as a person and invested time and energy into all of her students. I am the teacher I am today because of her.
This is what education is meant to be! Yes, content and learning is important and the common thread. But we don’t become learners because of test scores, school ratings, and comparisons to other states and countries. We become learners because of the people that inspire us to learn.
And this is why teachers want to teach.
This is why I want to talk to you. The system is broken. Teachers are the scapegoats. Everything is focused on results. Teachers are constantly having more and more results-oriented work put upon them. They are forced to teach in specific ways and very little wiggle-room is allowed for decisions based on what they know about their own students.
Schools are thought of like businesses…and every minute of the day is about the end product. And time is money…so teachers have students with them at all times and the paperwork and other responsibilities are put on teachers to do on their own time (remember, the time the teachers use to think about your child and what is best for him or her). A lot of teachers do not even have the luxury of using the restroom during the school day (and this is not an exaggeration).
Teachers are tired. Teachers are exhausted. Teachers are beat up, beat down, emotionally caved in, and about to all burn-out.
Not overplaying this, in a lot of states teachers are already leaving the profession in droves and it it getting worse and worse. The best teachers are leaving. This is the canary in the coal mine. When the best, most veteran, highly thought of teachers are leaving the profession, there is a problem that looks like will not be fixed.
I get to interact with many teachers every day, and I am seeing a trend that is not going to end well for public education, and it is not going to end well for your child getting that education.
Teachers still care, but they just can’t keep going. Something has to give. Something has to change. Something has to happen or we will be soon asking where all the teachers have gone.
This is why I am writing to you, parents and guardians. You see the news. You see how teachers all over the country are fighting. They are not fighting for more money…they are fighting for the respect they deserve and to draw attention to the system that is failing your child. They are fighting for your child!
This is about more than raises, smaller class sizes, and less testing. This is about the ability and freedom to teach your child, connect with them, and help them to become real learners and adults who can make this world a better place.
Teachers want to be able to give your students the same opportunities we all had to grow and learn and explore the world and be connected to educators that make them care about what they are learning. That world barely exists anymore, and it is slowly dying. Teachers are trying to save it! But they need your help.
Please talk to teachers and learn about what is going on and their concerns about the system. Get involved and find out what is going on at the local and state level in schools and how the system is changing to help teacher or changing to hinder them. Talk to leaders and share your concerns. Join the fight with teachers at the state level and demand a system that is best for your children…and one that will inspire them to become the people you know that they can be.
Fight with us…not against us. Learn what we are fighting for…it really is all about your child!
Thank you for reading! Please share and spread the word. Teachers need your help more than ever!
You rock because you care about your child’s future! Thanks for joining the fight!
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.
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.