Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Pep Talk, Perseverance, Poster/Graphic, Reflection, Thank You!

The Thankful Teacher


(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,

I was going to take a break from writing over Thanksgiving break, but I had a rough day on Tuesday (the last day of school for me before break) so I have been reflective.  My reflections have been some thoughts that I really feel like I should write down.  Writing helps me process them and will make them real to me.  I decided to write them to you because, maybe, you are going through something similar and need some similar encouragement and thoughts.

This is one of those times that I am writing to myself and letting you listen in.  Eavesdrop away, Teacher.

Too often I let myself get wrapped up in the actions, behavior, and/or attitude of one or a small handful of students.  I let this small cluster change my day and change my attitude because of these students.  I let this affect how I am feeling and change my behavior, actions, and reactions towards other students and my coworkers.  I let this make me feel like a failure.  I let this make me feel like a bad teacher.  I let this make me doubt my choices the led to becoming a teacher at all.

These feelings do not last long, but they are nonetheless real.  The feelings do affect me.  They really do.  Even if they are short-lasted, they do take a toll on me from time to time.

I know I shouldn’t let this happen.  I know that letting one or a few students make me go down this road is not productive.  But it happens.  Every year.  At least once or twice.  The cycle begins and I have to work through it.

If I know that this cycle is not productive, why do I keep letting myself get forced into it?  Do I have to go through this cycle?  Do I have to let the few students affect how I am with the many other students that are learning and doing the right things every day?  Do I need to go through this cycle of doubt and wonder about my choices?

If not, how do I avoid it?

Don’t get me wrong, reflection and analyzing what we do and say is important.  It is vital.  I am not saying that.  I know that doubt can make you stronger when you work through it.  I am just talking about the cycle that a handful of students can take you down where this few makes you feel like a failure as a teacher.  Where your focus is on them and not the rest of your students who are thriving in your class.  (I guess I should mention that it is not always the student that makes you feel like a failure…sometimes it is a parent like happened for me last year.)

So, how do I avoid this?

Today being Thanksgiving gave me a thought.  Maybe one tool that helps here, one weapon in this battle, is thankfulness.  Gratitude.  The attitude of taking stock of what is going well instead of what is not.

Being thankful for the good things takes your focus off of what is going wrong.  It puts into perspective that things really aren’t that bad and you that you can build on those things that are going great.  It lets you see the “silver lining” and move on.  Thankfulness lets the not-so-great things roll off your back like water off of a duck.

Being a thankfully reflective teacher can change you…especially in the moment when one or few students make you feel like you aren’t doing a good job.

Really?  Can it be that simple?

I don’t know that this is all of it, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.  A big step in that direction.  As I have thought about this on this Thanksgiving morning, some of my stress from Tuesday has started to melt away.  Not all of it, but a lot of it.  It is changing my attitude.  It is changing me.  It is letting me remember why I do what I do and put up with what I put up with.

It is refilling my patience.  That is a feat that is hard to do in the thick of a school year!  I will be honest, it helps that I have a break from school…but I still needed a patience refill!

So, what can we be thankful for as teachers?

I am just going make a quick “Thankful List” for me.  You can be thankful for whatever you need to be thank for…it sounds simplistic, but I think it will make a difference for you as it has for me.  What are you teacher-thankful for?

My Thankful Teacher List

  • I have a job.  That is important.  Not all teachers have one right now.
  • I work at a great school with great teachers.  ‘Nuff said.  🙂
  • I am on the best team of teachers at a school of great teachers.
  • I have wonderful, amazing students.
  • I have students who actually care when I am having a bad day.
  • I have students succeeding in my class who have had little success in school to this point (and I teach 6th grade).
  • I have students whose behavior has improved immensely and they are really starting to take their job as a student seriously.
  • Almost all of my students are interested in science, even if they haven’t been until this year (I teach science).
  • Most of my students work, cause no problems, and are improving in their ability to think and learn on their own.
  • I get to teach science to middle-schoolers, which is an amazing job to have!
  • I have a few students who work hard just because they know I care for them and want them to succeed.
  • Even those giving me a hard time will come around at some point.
  • I work with teachers who will help me become a better teacher.
  • I know I said it already, but I have amazing students.

Wow, I am glad I wrote those out instead of just thinking them.  I feel so much better.  Thankfulness does change you!  Can you do the same?  Write out a list of what you are thankful for in your classroom and with your students.  You don’t have to do it here, but you can if you would like!

Let gratitude change your attitude.

I know that sounds cheesy, but it does work!  🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, Teacher!  If you aren’t from the US…Happy Thursday!

You are amazing!  You are awesome!  You are getting through to your students.  Don’t give up!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Pep Talk, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic

The Gift of Today


(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,

You have today.  That is it.  Nothing else.  Only today.

Yesterday is no longer here.  Good or bad, it is gone.  Celebrate it.  Cry over it.  Do what you need to do, but it is over.  Done.  Completed.

Tomorrow is just that, it is tomorrow.  It is not here yet.  The worries of tomorrow are always a day away.  The promises of tomorrow are just out of reach.  It is the future.  Not yet.  Not here.  Not now.

You have today.

You have here.

You have now.

It is so easy to be wrapped up in what has happened (yesterday) or what will happen (tomorrow) that we forget that we have the here and now.  We have today.  

At any second, we can look around and take stock of what we have and make the best of it.  Really, all we can control is what we are experiencing in the moment.  Think about it.  That is all we can do.  Act in the here.  Act in the now.  Act today.

We can use the experiences of yesterday.  We can learn from mistakes and successes.  We can use what we have gained and accomplished.  We can withdraw from the bank of yesterday, but we cannot go back and make deposits.  We can’t be stuck in yesterday.  We have to use yesterday to make today better.

Now, we can make deposits in the bank of tomorrow.  That is certain.  We can make choices today that make tomorrow’s today better.  Don’t get me wrong.  We do need to think about that.  But it cannot be all that we do.  Tomorrow never really gets here.  We have to remember to live in today.  Today is where we always are.  

 Today is it.

Today is a gift.  It is what we have to give to the world.  It is where we live our life and strive to make a difference.  It is the now that lets us make tomorrow’s todays better and better.

It is a gift.  However, it is only what you make of it.  Will you make it something that you remember and can withdraw from in future todays?  Or will you make it a weight that weighs you down?  What it is up to you.  It is all in how you use it.  Your attitude determines so much of what today will be.  How are you thinking about today?

Today is all you have.

What are you going to do today?  What are you going to make of today?  How will you change the way you look at today?  How will you make today count?  How will you make today be something you remember tomorrow and lets you be stronger in the next today?

How will you use today to change your students’ tomorrows?

How will you teach them to use today?

How will you model today?

Today is our gift.

Let’s give our today to the world.  Let’s make it count.  Let’s use it to change ourselves, our students, and our world.  Let’s make today about making other people’s todays better.  

Are you with me?

I know I am thankful for today.  Today is mine.  I want it to count.  Will you join me in making today great?

You are awesome!  You make every today count.  I am so proud of you for that!  You are so amazing!  I believe in you.  You are making a difference.  Keep on living today and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in Get Psyched!, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic

Well Done!


(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,

A little message for the end of your week.  You are awesome!  You have made it!  Well done!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in Pep Talk, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic

Small Notes – Big and Awesome Message


(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)
(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,

I think the notes say it all.  You are awesome!  Keep going, keep going, keep going!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic, Reflection

Well Done!


Dear Teacher,

Same message as yesterday and last weekend…don’t forget to see the good and positive along with the “needs work” areas as you reflect on the week.  You had some awesome in you this week and do did your students.  Don’t forget to celebrate and take a little bow.  You deserve to and have earned it!  You rock because you are awesome!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Share this encouragement with another teacher.  He or she deserves it, too!

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)
(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)
Posted in Cheer Up, General Inspiration, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic, Thank You!

Letter from the World (that you may never get)


Dear Teacher,

I know that we all struggle through the tough patches of working in a somewhat thankless career.  More than that, we are often scrutinized and demeaned by people who just don’t understand what we do.  That can be hard, but we take it in stride and keep pressing on, even if no one notices.  That is what makes us awesome.  That is what makes you awesome!

I have put words to the unspoken thanks of students in the past, but I thought this morning I might give words to the unspoken thanks to someone else.  I know this letter will probably never happen, but I am sure that there are those out there who definitely feel this way.  So here is a letter to us from the world at-large.

Know that it is all true, even if we seldom hear it.  Read it, smile, and know you are awesome.  Share it with other teachers and lets get this Encouragement Revolution kicked into high gear today!

(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)

You are awesome.  You are amazing.  You are making a difference, even if it is only in the background where very few see it.  You are making the future, and the world thanks you!  I thank you!  Thank you, Teacher!  Keep on teaching!

Love, Teacher

PS…I know I keep talking about it, but I am so excited about these posters and how they can motivate students (intrinsically) to keep moving and pressing on!  The Motivational ABCs Poster/Word Wall are available in the Dear Teacher/Love Teacher TeachersPayTeachers Store…check it out, if you haven’t had the chance!  The image in this post is one of the printable posters in the set.  Oh, and the posters are on a deep discount sale this week!  You have $2 to motivate students, don’t you?  🙂

Posted in General Inspiration, Pep Talk, Poster/Graphic, Teacher Poem

Your Teaching Heart


Dear Teacher,

Your heart is for your students.  They don’t always see that.

You wear your heart on your sleeve.  It gets bumped and bruised.

You teach your heart out every day.  It is on the floor by the end of most days.

Your heart breaks for some of your students.  You can’t always put those pieces back together.

Some students take a little bit of your heart with them when they leave.  You gladly let them have it.

Your heart bleeds for your students each class.  They know, and they do need that from you.

Your heart aches when they don’t get it.  They feel it, too, and they keep trying for you.

You make your heart available.  The students take that to their heart.

Your heart is for your students.  Their heart will come to you.

(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)

Don’t give up!.  Pour your heart out.  It is worth it!  You are awesome and amazing!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…The Pinterest winner will be announced tomorrow!

Posted in Note from Student, Pep Talk, Perseverance, Poster/Graphic

Letter from Student (that you may never get): What you never knew…


Dear Teacher,

This is a letter that you may never get, but that does not make it any less true.  We often never know our influence.  Don’t forget that everything you do matters.  Keep not giving up!  Keep doing everything you can to reach ever student that you can.  You never know how much that they need all that you say and do…even if it just making them complete assignments or retaking a test.  It all matters, and it will come back to them…even if you never get to see it or hear about it!

You are awesome!  The difference is being made.  Keep on being relentless!  And, as always, keep on teaching, 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)
(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)