Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Mondays, Note to Teachers, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic, You Are Awesome!!!

Big City Monday


Dear Teacher,

It is Monday.  The start of a new week.  It is a fresh beginning.  You have arrived at the dawning of something that has never been before…this week.

Sometimes a new week of teaching can feel like coming to a big city for the first time.  It is overwhelming.  You know about the city and know where you need to go, but stepping on to the sidewalk can make you have to catch your breath at first.  It is big.  It is here.  It is real.  You have never navigated these streets before, and now you are here walking them.  It can be a bit much, but you keep walking.  You keep going.  You find your way.  You make it through.  You make it possible for yourself to get better and learn the places you need to go.  You press on until it is not a big deal anymore.

A new week can be very similar.  You know what is coming up.  You know some of what to expect from the week.  You also know that there are new challenges that await that you haven’t been made aware of yet.  If it is a big week, like state testing or something of that sort, it is even more daunting.  You go over in your head what you need to do, where you need your students to get to, and all that you have to get done.  Now it is Monday morning, and you are about to step into those streets.  You have to brace yourself and make yourself keep walking.

Deep breath, Teacher.  You’ve got this.  Step out.  Keep going.

You greet the week with all that you have.  You have done this before.  You have conquered other “big city” weeks.  This one will be no different.  You will do what you need to do.  You will get your students where they need to be.  You will take everything in stride and keep walking.  You will keep going.  You will survive.

This week has nothing on you.

Nothing.

Big cities are awesome.  Weeks can seem awesomely daunting.  But you are awesome-er.  Your awesome is bigger than the biggest city and the most difficult weeks.

You’ve got this.

Step out.

Keep walking.

(c) DearTeacherLT2013  You may use this image only if you link back to this blog and give credit to this blog.  This note will be available soon at the Dear Teacher TpT Store.  Find notes like this one by following the link.
(c) DearTeacherLT2013 You may use this image only if you link back to this blog and give credit to this blog. This note will be available soon at the Dear Teacher TpT Store. Find notes like this one by following the link.

You are awesome, for real!  You are amazing because you do keep going.  You know what your students need and you get them to succeed.  You are making a difference.  Keep walking and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in General Inspiration, Get Psyched!, Handwritten Note, Hope for Teachers, Note from Student, Note to Teachers, Pep Talk, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic

An Infographic Note from your Students


Dear Teacher,

If your students could make you an infographic note of your influence and the difference that you make, I think it would look a lot like this.

(c)DearTeacherLT2014 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)
(c)DearTeacherLT2014 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

I hope that you realize how much you mean to your students, even though they can’t tell you yet.  You may never know your true effect, but you are changing lives and futures.  Keep fighting.  Keep going.  Keep teaching!

You are so so awesome!  Please remember that you are today.  When the going gets tough, awesome is still awesome…and you are awesome!  Keep on teaching, you amazing Teacher!   Oh, and share this with another teacher that you think could use this message today.  Pass on the encouragement!

Love, Teacher

PS…I am working on a better format of the picture.  This is the best I could do this morning because of scanner issues.  Sorry!

Posted in General Inspiration, Pep Talk, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic, Theme Song

Happy Medley (don’t worry, Teacher)


Dear Teacher,

I have been so busy this month, can you tell?  Sorry for space between notes to you!  Hopefully everything will settle down after Christmas break.  I hope!

Well, even though it is mid-week, I figure that we all could still use a theme song for the week.  Click play and then read on.

The message is simple today, which I have been saying a lot lately…it is nonetheless true.  🙂

Don’t worry, Teacher.

School can be hectic.  There is so much to do.  There is so little time.  Teaching is tough.

It is easy to get caught up in the cycle of stress.  We get worn out.  We start to let plates fall.  The stress builds.  We get even more tired.  We let more plates fall.  More stress.  More tired.  More broken plates on the floor.  And the story goes on and on this way.

We teachers like to worry.  Okay, we don’t like it, but we are drawn to worry.  We have to worry.  There is often no choice but to worry.

Stress is coworker.  It is in our classroom.  It comes in with the students.  It comes in with the administrators.  It comes in with our fellow teachers.

It surrounds us.  It swallows us whole.  It is the lurking monster around every corner.  We walk on eggshells trying not to let it know that we are around.

Such is the life of a a teacher.  Stress and worry.

And that is just the school stuff!  I won’t even go into the stress and worry that comes along with the rest of our lives.  Family.  Friends.  Life in general.

And all of this just gets magnified this time of year.  I am writing this before Christmas, but pick the time of year and there is probably something to magnify stress and worry for us.

So what do we do?

We remember one thing…it will all eventually be all right.  Everything’s going to be all right.

We can stress less.  We can.

We can not worry so much.  It is true.

We just have to prioritize and focus.

Easier said than done…but we can do it.

It is not a crime to let some plates drop.  We can clean up the mess and move on.  It is not a big deal.  It just isn’t.

To quote my friend Pete the Cat when he lost one of his groovy buttons, “Do we cry?  Goodness no!  Buttons come and buttons go.”  We can keep on singing our song!

Stuff, stress, and worries come and go.  They do.  They do not have to drive us to the brink.  They don’t.

Don’t worry, Teacher.  Every little thing is going to be all write.

Don’t worry, be happy.

It is okay to be happy.

Be happy today.  Do it for your students.   Do it for you.  Find something about what needs to happen today and the rest of the week that makes you happy and let that drive you.  Don’t worry so much.  Be happy!

I know that you can!  I believe in 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)

As I said, I am writing this before Winter Break.  If you are reading this before break, take the rest of the week and make it less stressful.  Find a way.  Be happier.  It is okay.  You are allowed to do that from time to time.  You and your students will be better for it!

You are awesome and amazing, as usual.  You can and do try to stress less and be happier.  Good for you!  You students are definitely reaping the benefits of it!  You are making a difference in their life by showing them it is possible to stress less and be happier.  They will need those lessons one day!  You are so great and I believe in you so much!  Go get it today and make today great!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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