Posted in Challenge, General Inspiration, Homework Assignment

Mission (seemingly) Impossible


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

Dear Teacher,

Great Friday morning to you!  How are you doing?  Did you survive the week?  Did you thrive this week?  Somewhere in the middle?  Well, it is Friday, and, no matter what, you made it through!

This week I have written to you a lot about the overwhelming-ness of our profession.  I have talked a lot about focusing on what is important and letting some of the non-priorities sit on the back-burner.  Today, I am going to ask you to add something to your load and your “to-do” list.

Seems kind of hypocritical, I know.  Just stay with me.  I think this lines up with what I have been talking about this week.  I hope, at least.

I want to give you an assignment.  It is has four parts to it, but one main goal.  It is going to seem impossible, but I know you can do it.  I want you to change the world.

Yes.  Change the world.  I am pretty sure you can do it.  No.  I know you can do it.

I know you are one person.  I know the world is big.  I know the problems in the world are often looming just on this side of disaster.  I know you are just a tiny cog in the big machine of the entire world.  But you can change things.  I want you to do just that.

Let’s take a little movie break before I give the details of your assignment.  Kevin Spacey playing an awesome movie teacher in Pay It Forward does a much better job of explaining how to change the world than I can, anyway,

If you haven’t seen this movie, get it and watch it.  It is your extra credit assignment.  🙂

The theme of the movie is simple.  One person can truly affect the world and kindness will always win over the negative forces in this world eventually.  I know that it can seem a little idealistic, but I don’t think it is very far fetched at all.  Just like a pebble thrown into a puddle affects the whole puddle, the splash of one person being different than everyone else can cause those around them to change, those who were changed will change others, those people will change others, and so on and so on.

So, I want you to change the world.

“Okay. DearTeacherLoveTeacher, how do you think I am going to change the world?”

I am glad you asked.  It is time for your assignment.  Before you read the assignment though. play this song by the Kid President and then read while it is playing.  It makes a nice theme song for the assignment, AND he is one of the greatest examples of the pay-it-forward-attitude I have ever heard of!  I shared this song last Friday, but it is worth a second share.

Changing the World in Four Easy (slightly impossible) Steps

  1. Change Your World– Make a plan to do one thing to de-stress your school life.  Make a plan to do one thing every week that you can do to change your stress level at school.  It could be taking a break for for five minutes somewhere in the week and just breathing and remembering why you love to teach.  It could be taking one morning coffee break in the week when you are not thinking about school work.  It can be choosing one thing to “let go” each week that is a non-priority.  But this part of the assignment is a plan, and then you have to follow it.
  2. Change Another Teacher’s World– Make a plan to do one encouraging thing for another teacher each week, and it has to be a different teacher each week.  It can be hand-written notes (which is my favorite to do).  It can be to lend a hand in a time of need.  It can be a random act of awesome like bringing something in for a teacher (like chocolate or coffee).  Just do something every week for a teacher.  Try to get to everyone in your school throughout the year.  Just one a week.  You can do that!
  3. Change a Student’s World– Make a plan to do one majorly encouraging thing for one student a week.  Much like the teacher part of the assignment.  Do something like write a note, have a conversation that is not related to grades or content, give them a random piece of candy, something out of the blue.  This is not the normal things we should be doing, this is more over the top and random.  It is surprising how much this can change someone’s outlook.  You can be an over-achiever and do this for more than one student each week, but do at least one.  YOU HAVE TO PLAN TO DO THIS EACH WEEK.  If you don’t plan, it will fall to the wayside,  Jot a note for who and what to do on a sticky note each week or put a coded reminder to do this in your lesson plans.  You have to plan for it though.
  4. Change the World– Do a random act of kindness for someone outside of school.  This has to be big, random, and something that someone won’t forget.  I am talking Pay it Forward big.  Do something that will change how someone is feeling about people and the world.  Something they could not do themselves.  Then ask them to do the same for others.  Kindness will change the world.  It is the only way the world will get better.

After you have had some time to think, come back here and share your plans for 1-3.  Don’t share #4.  That one should be personal.  Don’t share it on the internet.  It is more for you and the person you help than for everyone.  If you talk to much about it, you take away from the kindness factor!  I do want you to share 1-3 so that we can all hold you to your plans.

Oh, and more extra credit…share this post with all of the teachers you know.  Give them this assignment.  Let’s change the world!

So, this is your mission, if you choose to accept it.  What do you think?  Are you going to change the world with me?

You are awesome.  You are changing the world already.  This is just a push to be more intentional in doing so.  I know you can do it!  You are amazing!  Keep on teaching and keep on changing the world, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…If writing notes is a part of your plan to change the world for teachers and students, there are some really fun printable Awesome Notes  that you can write on the back of in the Dear Teacher/Love Teacher Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  They are a big hit with teachers and students at my school.  The students love getting them and teachers love using them.  Just a little plug.  There are 10 notes in the mega pack, and there is a free sample of the notes in the store.  The mega pack is only $2.  They are not necessary for your assignment, just a fun little way to do it.  🙂

Oh, and the Kindness poster/graphic is available as a part of the Motivational ABCs Poster/Word Wall collection in the TpT store, as well.

Posted in Challenge, Guest Post, Homework Assignment, Hope for Teachers, Reason for Teaching

Substitute Teacher Subway Station


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

Dear Teacher,

As you may have noticed, the last week and a half on the blog has been guest posts by other people.  I have taken a break from school and school-related activities and others have stepped in as “Substitute Teachers.”  I am very grateful for the work they have put in to writing and promoting their posts.  They have done a great job!  Thank you, Substitute Teachers!

For reasons that I will bring up tomorrow, today is the last day of my hiatus from blogging (and teaching/planning).  I decided to make today’s post a “clip show” of the Substitute posts so that you have a chance to read and see something you may have missed while I was out.  This post is like a “subway station” of the guest posts.  I am also going to make this a quick and easy homework assignment.  Read at least three of these posts, pick your favorite, comment on it, and then share it (Facebook, Edmodo, Twitter, etc…).  I will be nice and not assign a due date.  🙂

Enjoy and share the hard work of my Substitute Teachers!

Alright, don’t forget to do your homework!  I hope you enjoy each of these as much as I have!

Teacher, you are so awesome!  You are going to do something great today, if your are still teaching or on summer break.  People with the teacher’s heart do amazing things every day…and you are one of those people.  Go out there and awesome the heck out of today!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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