Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Thank You!

What You Deserve, Teacher…


Dear Teacher,

You do so much.  I don’t mean that as a meaningless platitude because it is Teacher Appreciation Week.  I mean that as someone who knows.  Someone who has and is living the life of a teacher.  You do so very much!

It is almost inconceivable how much that you do for your students, your students’ families, your coworkers, your administration, your family, your friends, and…sometimes, every once in a while, on the rare occasion…for yourself…though, that is seriously not as often as it should be.  You live and breathe for others.  And you do it because you have a heart for others, especially your students.

You do so much!

And there is not much that you get in return; at least not tangible things.  This is something you are okay with.  You are because you are doing what you do for something bigger.  You are working for the lives and future of your students…which is what matters most to you.

You do deserve more, though.

In all honesty, you do deserve more money for all that you do.  You deserve more respect from others.  You deserve more recognition for the extra miles that you go.  You deserve more freedom and autonomy within the system because you do know what you are doing most of the time.  With that, you deserve the trust that you can make good decisions for the sake of your students.  And the list could go on and on.

You are a great teacher and you deserve more than you get!  

You deserve more and you know it…but this is not what is important to you.  What is important is that you impact your students lives and help them become the amazing people that they can be one day.  This is what makes you awesome.  You know you deserve more, but that is not what drives you.  Your students drive you.  And this is one of the many reasons you deserve more.

We both know that the “more” may never come.  But there is one thing that I can offer you.  I can offer you a thank you.

Really, really, really, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you, Teacher.

I thank you for all that you do.  I thank you for the things that you do that you don’t have to.  I thank you for your heart.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

(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.)

I thank you as a fellow teacher who you serve as an example for.  I thank you as a parent who has teachers that are like you and are influenced by you.  And I thank you as a citizen of the world because you really are making the future better.

Teacher, I can not give you all that you deserve, and for this I am sorry.  But I do promise to always try to thank you…even when it is not Teacher Appreciation Week.  A thank you is something you deserve every day!  I will do my best to try.

DearTeacherLT2016 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)
DearTeacherLT2016 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

You are an amazingly awesome teacher!  Thank you for teaching on even though you do not get everything you deserve!  You are making a difference and changing lives.  Keep going and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Thank You!, You Are Awesome!!!

A Little Reminder


Dear Teacher,

I hope that you have had a restful, resetting break so far!  I really do.

As the business of Christmas settles down I know that thoughts of school are starting to creep back in.  I know this is true because you are a great teacher.

This is why I am writing to you today.  I want to say thank you.  Thank you for being a great teacher.  Thank you for all that you do.  Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for your creativity.  Thank you for you!

You are amazing!

You are a gift to your students.

You are a gift to education.

You are a gift to the world!

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you!

image

You are awesome.  You are making a difference.  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note from Student, Note to Teachers, Pep Talk, Perseverance, Picture Note, Poster/Graphic, Thank You!, You Are Awesome!!!

(Unspoken) Words from Your Students


Dear Teacher,

You are amazing.  You know that, right?  You give your students what they need before they need it.  Almost like magic!

You work hard.  You make choices for the best that students disagree with.  You are patient.  You are kind.  You are nice.  Even when you don’t feel like you can be.

You will seldom be thanked…especially by the toughest of students.

They will appreciate what you have done and are doing…one day.

They do not always have the words now to tell you.

So…this note is for you.  Here are the words (unspoken) that your students aren’t ready or can’t say yet.  They are still true.

Take them to heart.  Be encouraged.  Let a smile rise to your lips.  It is okay.  You can feel the pride.  You deserve it!

(c)DearTeacherLT2014 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher) ... oh, and this was made using www.piktochart.com, check them out if you want to make cool infograpics!
(c)DearTeacherLT2014 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher) … oh, and this was made using http://www.piktochart.com, check them out if you want to make cool infograpics!

Don’t give up!  Do all that you do and keep doing it well.  Keep on teaching, Teacher!  You are AWESOME!

Love, Teacher

PS…Pass this one one to a teacher that you know needs to hear this!  Also, please comment with a story about a time a student has been able to thank you for your hard work for them.  🙂

Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Thank You!, You Are Awesome!!!

From one teacher to another…


Dear Teacher,

You are awesome.  I know that I say this a lot, but that does not make it any less true.  I say you are awesome because you are awesome.  You need to hear it more often than you do, so I will keep saying it.

So.  You are awesome, 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)

One of the reasons that you are awesome is because of the difference you make for others.  You change lives.  You make things better.  You put yourself on the line for the sake and betterment of those around you.

I am not talking about students this time.  I am not talking about their families.  I am not even talking about the community or society at large.

No, I am talking about us.  The teachers.  Those you work with.  Those that you meet.  Those that just hear about you.

You make a difference for other teachers.

You know what we do.  We watch each other.  We look and see what other teachers are doing, saying, and how they are acting and reacting.  The good and the bad, we watch to see it all.  We make choices based on what we see.  We change what we do based on what we observe.

You know the old saying, “Great teachers beg, borrow, and steal.”  Or something like that.  We all do it, in some way, shape, or form.  We look around to see what the other teachers are doing and make adjustments in ourselves.

From one teacher to another, thank you for being a teacher worth watching and modeling after!

I saw you, you made a note about something for your class based on what you saw or did on vacation.  Thank you!

You bought some supplies with money from your own pocket because your students needed it and it was on sale.  Thanks!

You went to a seminar and/or workshop while on summer break.  Thank you so much!

You made time for planning even though you are not “on the clock.”  Thanks, again!

You kept your teacher brain on even though school is not in session.  I needed to see that.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You do a thousand little things day by day, in school and out of school, all of the time that we all see.  These things make you a great teacher, and they are making all of us better teachers.

(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.)

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  You are awesome, Teacher.  Education is better because of you!  Keep on doing what you do and keep on teaching!

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, Teacher Testimony, Thank You!

Thank You Note (from another Teacher who was once a student)


(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,

Thank you.  I mean it.  Really.  Thank you!

As a former student, I thank you for the time you took to plan.  I thank you for the hours you put into your lessons, but also your willingness to let that time go when opportunities happened in the classroom for deeper learning and you scrapped your plans to teach where we, the students, were are the time.

Thank you for the time you took to set up your classroom.  Thank you for the posters and funny jokes about math.  Thank you for giving me something to look at in the moments of distraction that helped my mind get back to learning.  Thank you for the seating charts and seating changes that helped me learn better, even if I or other students fought them.

Thank you for the care you showed.  Day after day, I could never doubt that you cared about me.  Though I may not have loved your class, your subject, or thought you were cool, I did ALWAYS know that you cared about me.  That really did make me care about what you were trying to teach.  I definitely cannot deny it.

Thank you for going the extra mile for me.  Thank you for being a great teacher.  Thank you for trying new strategies.  Thank you for staying after school.  Thank you for quick turnaround in grading.  Thank you for…well…everything.

Thank you, Teacher!

Thank you.

I am a better teacher because I have your shoulders to stand on.  I am better for my students because you were a better teacher than I am.  But I am learning.  You set a high bar, but I hope to one day reach that goal.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Did I mention, “Thank you”?

We do not hear it enough, and because of that sometimes we lose focus.  We are affecting our students, though.  This was a heartfelt letter to teachers from my past.  We do make a difference.  We do.  Let us remember why we do what we do and put up with what we put up with.  It is for the students.  Who knows, you might be teaching the next great teacher!  Keep your focus and do what you know to do, and do it well.  You are awesome so I know that you will.

Keep on teaching, you amazing Teacher, you!

Love, Teacher

Apple Influence

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 Dream Big, Facebook Page, Thank You!, TpT Dear Teacher Store, Twitter Feed

Practicing What I Teach


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

Dear Teacher,

Good morning!  Well, last month and yesterday I encouraged you to celebrate the little things about your teaching and students to help you stay focused when the going get tough.  When I first posted about this, I celebrated some of the “little things” about this blog, but I did not yesterday.  I really need to.  Now that I am in the heat of planning some big dreams for next year, trying to find fresh ideas to write is not as easy.

As a teacher, I am encouraged and all but required to be a data analyzer (it helps that this a part of science, and I am a science teacher).  So when I look at the numbers for the blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Teachers Pay Teachers store, I tend to get to discouraged when those numbers are not growing consistently…which is the same thing I feel about student test scores and grades throughout the year.  The lack of growth adds to the stress of coming up with new and innovative ways to spread encouragement and hope to you and to others through you.

I need to stop stress and remember why I started this whole thing and then take a look at the numbers from that perspective and start having some little (and big) celebrations over those things.  I have only been doing this for about six and a half weeks, and the growth of this blog and encouragement movement in that little bit of time is phenomenal!  I need to just keep doing what I am doing and not care about the numbers!

That said, let me celebrate some of the “numbers” and good things that are going on with Dear Teacher/Love Teacher…

The Blog:

  • In just 6.5 weeks (1.5 of them I was gone for), the site is approaching 19,000 views…that is insane in such a short time!  Thank you for reading and sharing!
  • The Homepage/Archives, along, has had nearly 3,000 views!  That is huge!
  • One post, Why (Did I Become a Teacher)?,  has had 700 views by itself!  It was one of the guest blogs during my sabbatical time from the site.
  • The Thank You Note You May Never Get is another post that is nearing 700 views (and growing a little more each day)!
  • Two other posts have over 550 views!  (Friday of Awesomeness and The Eye of the Teacher…er…Tiger)
  • The blog itself (not counting Facebook and Twittter followers) has 79 followers (33 bloggers and 46 through email).  This does not count RSS followers, because I am not currently tracking that.  This is an amazing number!  Thank you for following and thinking this is important enough to follow!
  • There have been 279 shares so far (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Email, and WordPress Blogs)!  That is a big part of the success of the blog, your shares!  Thank you so much for sharing the encouragement with others!  That is kind of the point of this whole thing!

Facebook Page:

  • In less than a month, there has been 133 Likes for the Dear Teacher/Love Teacher FB Page!  Thank you!
  • The number of likes almost tripled over the weekend because of people sharing!  Thanks so much!
  • The FB page has allowed me to share other forms of encouragement besides blog posts, and that has given me some freedom from the stress of new ideas for the blog.  This is quite great for me!

Twitter:

  • There are currently 61 Twitter followers!  Thank you for following!
  • Twitter has given me new ways to connect with you and for people to share what is going on here!
  • I have also been allowed to find a great deal of sources to share with you to help give you hope, encouragement, and challenges to make you a better teacher.  I have enjoyed getting to know Twitter a bit!

Teachers Pay Teachers Store

  • Getting this set up and learning the ropes has been a slight challenge for me, but I think I finally have it figured out!
  • The Dear Teacher/Love Teacher Store is now officially re-opened!  It is a place for you to get some real resources to help you be a source and conduit of hope for teachers and students at your school and where ever you go!
  • All of my picture messages up until Tuesday (I think) are now available as a free resource at the store!  They are the original images that you can use to print and share with other teachers!
  • I have created an “Awesome Note” that comes in a variety of sizes (both b&w and color, too) that you can print and use to send messages of hope and encouragement to those who need them.  This is on sale for $1 for a limited time!
  • These are the only two available items right now, but I am working on more!

Well, all I can say is thank you!  This has been an amazing ride for the last six and half months, and I look forward to many, many more!  Thank you, again, for supporting and joining this encouragement revolution!

You are so awesome!  I am honored to help encourage you as you give out your awesome to others!  You are an amazing teacher.  As always, keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…

Here some quick encouragement for you, since my post probably encouraged me more than you!  🙂  Thank you, Teachers!

 

Posted in Challenge, Thank You!, You Are Awesome!!!

The Joy of Thanks Giving


(c)DearTeacherLT 2013 (You may use this picture if you link back to this blog)
(c)DearTeacherLT 2013 (You may use this picture if you link back to this blog)

Dear Teacher,

I bet you had to look at the title twice, didn’t you?  🙂  I know it is June and not November…this post is not about the holiday.  It is about thanks…giving it and getting it.  We all need a thank you and we all have many thank-yous to give out.

I warned you that most of my posts would be about looking back at the school year this week.  This one came from reflecting (or refracting) on the school year, but it does apply to everyone in any stage of a “teacher year.”  Thankfulness is an anytime kind of subject.  We all need to increase our thinking of thank-yous most of the time.

We all hate the feeling of not getting a thank you.  We don’t do what we do for a thank you, but it is so nice to hear one once in a while.  Thank-yous help us know that what we have done is appreciated and accepted by those for whom we are helping or doing something.  They validate the effort we give.  They help encourage us to keep doing whatever we are doing.  A thank you is just, well, nice.

Teachers do not get a lot of thank-yous.  We knew it was a pretty thankless job when we signed up for this.  We don’t complain about not hearing the words, but inside we secretly wish to hear one more often.  It is not a big deal, but it would just be helpful to hear.

Think about it.  If you feel that way, who around you might feel that way?  Sure, you are not getting a thank you right now, but could you give one?  You know your fellow teachers would like to hear one.  Tell them.  Find something to thank them for, and be personal about it!  Find something they did for you are that they are doing for a student and say thank you.  Say it.  Write it.  Buy a card.  You don’t know how much it will encourage them…actually, you know exactly how much it will encourage them!  So you be the thank-er at you school!

Thank other people, too.  Find some students that are doing great things.  Thank them.  Go to your administration and thank them for everything that they do.  You think you have a thankless job?  They hear it a lot less than you do!  Go to the school receptionist, administrative assistant, custodians, school maintenance, school nurse, cafeteria workers, and any of the other many thankless people at your school and say a big THANK YOU!  You know they would love to hear it!

You may not hear thank you enough, but are you giving them enough?  Who do you need to say thank you to right now?  Go do it!  Think of three people to thank today, thank them, and then come back here and tell us all about it.  You are awesome, so be awesome to others!

Before I close this post out, I need to give a thank you.  Last night, this blog officially crossed the Over 10,000 Views mark!  I started this blog/encouragement revolution just a little more than three weeks ago, and you all have already pushed it to that benchmark.  You all are awesome!  Thank you for sharing the blog with others!  Thank you for all of the “likes” and shares to other sites!  Thank you for all of the Facebooking, Tweeting, Edmodo-ing, Pinning, and emailing of this encouragement to others!  It means a lot to have this message of hope affecting and helping others remember why they teach and that they are good teachers.  I love sending this message…thank you for passing the message on!  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Teacher, thank you for letting me be a part of your teaching life!  Thank you for being the awesome teacher that you are!  Thank you for just being you!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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