Posted in General Inspiration, Guest Post, Pep Talk

Just Keep Moving (in the right direction)

Dear Teacher,

When I asked people to volunteer to be Substitute Teachers while I am “off the grid,” I had a lot of great responses!  I am so grateful and honored by that!  Teachers were more than willing to pay forward the encouragement and hope that they have received from people and from this blog.  However, something interesting came from the request to for people to share, and it was a response to something that I have done with this blog that I did not think people noticed or cared about, but they did and do (you might, too).

I have made strides to try to keep this as anonymous as possible.  Why?  I want the message here to be separated from it being just a person trying to encourage other people.  I want it to be about teachers encouraging teachers.  We are in this together, and it is not about a person or personality.  This is one of the reasons I am using Substitute Teachers instead of just setting up a bunch of my own posts to go up while I am away.  This is teachers encouraging each other.  Teachers looking out and caring for their own!

I say all of this because some of the Substitutes have requested to stay anonymous, like me.  Their reasons are the same as mine.  I appreciate that, so I am honoring the request.  I will only share what I think is important about each…and today’s Sub has one thing I would like you to know about her.  She has been teaching for 26 years!  I am honored to have such a veteran post here!  We can learn so much from those teachers who have been doing this for a long time!  I love learning from people who have been doing this for a long time.  Read this morning and learn with me.  🙂

Dear Teacher,

I subscribe to Gretchen Rubin’s* Happiness Project blog and her “Moment of Happiness” daily e-mails.  Recently, this Oliver Wendell Holmes quote was the thought of the day:

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”

This quote reminded me of some experiences I’ve had in teaching.  Often at the end of the year I can be discouraged or disappointed by all of the things that didn’t go as well as I’d have liked, or all the ways that I wasn’t as great a teacher as I’d have liked to have been for my students.  We teachers want so much to do awesome things for all of our students, but that task can sometimes be impossible to fully achieve.

Then I remind myself that no one is perfect, and that the important thing is wanting to be awesome and being committed to always getting better, becoming a stronger and more effective teacher. After my first, most difficult year as a teacher, I promised myself that I would always work to get better each year, and that as long as I kept that commitment, I would just have to be accept the fact that I hadn’t been the perfect teacher. As Holmes reminds us, it’s the direction we’re moving that is most important.

One of the best things about teaching is that every year there is a fresh start and a new chance to be even better and more awesome for a new group of students.  Summer is a great time for thinking about ways to hone our skills. What great ideas would you like to put in place with your next group of students?

You are awesome, Teacher.  You are committed to improving your professional practice, and that’s awesome!  High five!

Love, Substitute Teacher

** Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home.

For more hope and encouragement: @DearTeacherLT (Twitter) and Dear Teacher/Love Teacher Facebook Page.

Posted in Challenge, Guest Post

Teaching as a Lifestyle

(c)DearTeacherLT2013  (You may use this image as long as you link back to this blog.)
(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use this image as long as you link back to this blog.)

Dear Teacher,

This is the first in a series of posts by substitute “Love, Teachers”.  As you have probably read, I am taking a short hiatus from the blog (as well as anything else school-related).  I feel that this is important.  Despite popular thought, teachers do not stop for the summer.  Often times we work harder during the summer than during the school year.  We plan.  We go to trainings.  We go to workshops.  We teach summer school.  We tutor.  We do any number of things to help students and prepare for the next year.  For this reason, I think it is important to force yourself to take a break.  That is exactly what I am doing.

That said, let me introduce my new friend, Dubier.  Dubier is a Spanish teacher at an international school in Sweden.  Yes, with this post, my blog is officially international!  Dubier has a blog called I teach with IT.  The blog shares his experiences as a teacher that promotes flip teaching, the use of IT and motivation to improve the education for students.  Please check it out.  I asked him to guest-post because his blog is both encouraging and challenging.

I think this is a great and motivational message, and I hope you agree!  Without further ado, let me hand it over to Dubier.

To be a teacher is a lifestyle.

What does it means to be a teacher?  Are teachers only a person who goes to work Monday to Tuesday, planning their lessons, teach and goes home afterwards?  If I would ask many teachers, they would answer YES to that question. Understand me right, it is their full right to think so but I am of another opinion.  I would like to say that to be a teacher are not a role or job for me, to be teacher is a lifestyle. Lifestyle starts from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep.  Your lifestyle is not dependent on a location or time schedule, but it continues as long as you are awake.

Many teachers complaints are about the salary, time schedule and that they need to do some extra work for students. Think about teaching as a lifestyle and maybe you would think differently.  A lifestyle is something that you choose,  to feel good about yourself, and not something you choose to get something in return.  The greatest feeling is when you helped students to achieve something that they didn’t think they could just because you as a teacher didn’t just think about your schedule or salary but the student´s best.  That is worth all the money or time in the world. don´t you think?

Many teachers could feel very stressed when parents call after working hours.  To be honest I am one of them.  However we need think about it in another perspective.  They are calling us because they think that we are the only one that could help them.  They trust us with their children.  They are calling us after their working hours when they are tired.  They even call sometimes during weekends when they rather doing something fun.  What does that cost us? nothing. 5 minutes of our life…..that maybe could help the parents have a great weekend before they start over again on monday.  Do we get paid for that?  Yes, in satisfaction

To be a teacher is not only about the students and parents.  It’s also about your colleagues.  In my opinion your responsibility as a teacher is also to be available for your colleagues when they need support and help.  Not just during working hours but also outside.

This are few things that is included in my lifestyle. what is included in yours?

Thank you so much, Dubier, for your encouragement and challenge!  You are awesome!  You are awesome, too, Teacher, as always!  Keep on teaching, Teacher Dubier and every teacher everywhere!

Love, Teacher

For more hope and encouragement: @DearTeacherLT (Twitter) and Dear Teacher/Love Teacher Facebook Page.