Something You Need to Hear, Teacher


Dear Teacher,

As a follow-up to the post from yesterday (if you haven’t read it, go read this first and watch the video)…there is something I really want to say to you.

Now, ideally, this would be in person so that I could look you in the eye and say it…so you will just have to imagine someone who knows you as a teacher and cares about you and your teaching passion looking you eye-to-eye.  Doing that?  Okay.  Great.

Teacher, you DO have what it takes to make a difference.  You are an amazing teacher and you have skills and talents that are specific for reaching your students.  Yes, all of your students.  Even the difficult ones.  Remember that you DO believe that they can one day be awesome people that change their communities and the world.  You really believe this.  And you DO have the strength and energy to help them work through who they are now, help them to believe who they can be, and inspire them to do the work it will take to become those people.  YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.  YOU ARE AN AWESOME TEACHER.  YOU’VE GOT THIS!  I believe in you and I have your back.  Do what it takes and fight the battles that need to be fought for your students.  You might not see the difference now (or ever), but you will make a difference in the lives of your students.  You know it is true.  Believe it with me.  You ROCK!  Keep on teaching, 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)

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

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Teacher, I Know Your Secret…


Dear Teacher,

I know you.  Well, I don’t really…but I know something about you.  I know something that you hide.  I know something that you keep locked inside.  Something, that you don’t want other people to know.  And I want to share your secret.  It will be difficult, but I am just going to rip off that Band-Aid…

You are afraid.

Now that your secret is out, let’s talk about it.  This fear is not a general fear of anything.  No, it is very specific.  It is at the heart of who you are as a teacher.

You are afraid of not making a difference.

At the center of your being, this is all that you really want to do.  You want to change the world.  You want to affect the future.  You want to make an impact.  But again, this is not a general fear of not making a difference…it is even more specific than that.

You are afraid of not making a difference in the lives of your students.

There it is.  Your secret is all the way revealed.  Your hope is to be one of the sparks in the lives of your students that help them to make better lives for themselves.  You have seen movies like Dead Poets Society and Stand and Deliever, and you want to be a teacher like those portrayed in those stories.  You want to be one of the inspirations that allows your students to make the world a better place.  Your passion is to assist in the transition of your students from where they are into the adults they will be.  And this is a noble goal…but it can lead to the fear that you hide.

And it is a valid fear.

However, this fear can lead to you spreading yourself out too thin.  It can cause you to bite off more than you can chew.  It can lead to burnout.  It can lead to depression.  It can lead to you leaving the career and job that you love to do.

And it does not have to do this.

Listen, the fear of not making a difference in the lives of your students is okay, but it does not have to define your inner self or destroy you slowly like it does so many great teachers.  There is a way to know that you are making a difference each and every day.

The greatest, most dynamic teaching is not what changes lives.  Having your students make the most growth on standardized tests does not change lives.  Attending the latest, greatest professional development, reading the books by the world-renown teachers, or attending the trendiest conferences does not change lives.  I am not saying any of this is bad, but I am saying it is not what changes lives.

What makes the biggest difference in the lives of your students is you.  It is you as a person.  It is you as a teacher.  It is you as a reliable adult in their lives.

What will make the biggest impact in the lives of your students is believing in them, helping them believe in themselves, and helping them learn ways to reach their potential.  This is what they need more than anything else in the world from you.

Motivational/Growth Mindset ABCs https://goo.gl/wU4BW9

Motivational/Growth Mindset ABCs
https://goo.gl/wU4BW9

I know it sounds pie-in-the-sky and simplistic, but it really is that simple.  So yes, you will need a lot of tools in your toolbox because this is individualistic to each student that you teach.  You will need to know how to roll with the ebb and tide of each day in your classroom.  You will have to put time and effort in…but what needs to be at the heart of what you do is why you do it.  And that reason has to be belief in who your students can be and what they can do in the future.

Teachers who do this are the ones who are remembered.  They are the ones who make the impact.  They are the ones who change lives.  They are the ones who make the long-term difference.

Think about it.  Look back at the teachers who made the biggest difference in your life.  Was it their lessons?  Or was it them as a person who cared for you and believed in you?  I think I know the answer.

Yes, it takes work.  Yes, it is hard.  Yes, you will not always be your students’ favorite teacher.  Sometimes you will be the least favorite teacher for some students…but one day they might just look back and remember you as someone who did not let them give up and who saw who they could be one day.  For some inspiration…check out the video that inspired this post this morning.  It brought up the times that I think (and hope) that I was this teacher for students.

You can be that teacher.  You are that teacher.  You are making that difference that you fear you might not make.

Speaking of that fear, let’s circle back to the point of this letter.

You are afraid of not making a difference in the lives of your students.

It is okay to have this fear, but let it drive you to believe in your students, help them believe in themselves, and cause you to find every way possible to help each student see and start working towards who they can be one day.  This will cause you to be that difference in their lives.  I promise.

I know I say this all of the time, but, Teacher, you are amazing.  You are a great teacher!  You are completely awesome and you totally rock.  You are making a difference each and every day!  Keep on believing in your students and keep on teaching!

Love, Teacher

Dear Teacher Daily – Teacher, You’re a Star!


Dear Teacher,

Teacher, you may not be the star of the world, but you are a star in someone’s world. I know you are exhausted, but you are making a difference for at least one student…and that is worth it. You are awesome, you are a great teacher, and you ROCK! Thanks for all that you do!

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)

Keep on teaching, Teacher, because you are pretty awesome at it!

Love, Teacher

Dear Teacher Daily – Haunted Halloween Monday Madness


Dear Teacher,

I know you are afraid.  You are uncertain.  You are anxious.  Today is Halloween.  It is also Monday.  It is the perfect storm.

Your students will be hyped up today.  Excited.  Antsy.  Rambunctious.  A bit ridiculous, too.

You have to teach.  You have to classroom manage.  You have to survive.

And that is just today!

Tomorrow they will be tired…but they will also be wired.  They will be hopped up on candy.  They will have no interest.

And the rest of the week will be full of ups and downs in the Halloween aftermath.

And you are dreading it.  Seriously, legitimately dreading it.  And you can’t think of a reason to honestly use a sick day.

Teacher, you will make it.  You were made for this.  You love a challenge and a problem to solve, and now you have a big one.

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)

Stay calm.  You know ways to grab and keep their attention.  You know how to organize chaos.  You know how to teach through adversity.  This is your time to shine.

Don’t bemoan the cards in your hand this week.  Play them wisely.  You can win this hand!  You are a teacher, dang it!  You were born for this!

You’ve got this, Teacher!  You really do.  And you can enjoy this week!  Just don’t fight against it.  Work with it.  You can do it!

Use this week to get to know and show your care for your students.  You are an awesome teacher!  You can and will thrive this week!  Teach on, Teacher, teach on!  You rock!

Love, Teacher

Dear Teacher Daily – A Letter From That “One Student”


Dear Teacher,

You are passionate about your students and about teaching, there is no denying that.  For that reason, when you have a REALLY challenging student, it is a struggle.  You want to reach that student, but you also don’t want to sacrifice the other students and their learning environment.  It is a mental and emotional tug-of-war that you deal with day in and day out.  You do what you can and play each day by ear.

And you are TIRED!

Well, I just want to encourage you to keep it up!  Don’t give up!  Keep making those hard choices every day!  We both know it will make a difference one day for that student(s)…even if it is in the far future and you will never know.

To help you do this and stay inspired to keep going, I went into the future and got that student to write you a letter.  What, you didn’t know I had a time machine?  🙂

I’m attaching the letter to the end of this note.  I hope it reminds you why you do the things you do.  You are awesome and REALLY ARE making a difference!  Don’t give up!  Keep on teaching, 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)

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

Dear Teacher Daily – The Overwhelming Ocean…You’ll Be Okay


Dear Teacher,

It piles up.  All of the stuff to do comes at us constantly.  It is a never-ending struggle.  One thing after another happens or needs to happen.

Planning.  Meetings.  Behavior issues.  Professional development.  Parent conferences.  Grading.  Documentation.  Field trips.  Differentiation.  Data collection.  Data analysis.  Portfolios.  On and on the list can grow.

Our time is precious and it gets eaten away from us!  All we want to do is teach, connect with students, and make a difference…yet we are drowning in an ocean of stuff.

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)

We are overwhelmed.  We are frustrated.  We are exhausted.  And sometimes we just want to give up and be buried under the waves.

You’ve been there.  I’ve been there.  We have probably all been there this week (or are there right now).

I’m here to remind you about something…you will make it through!  You will survive.  You have before and will again.  You will make it.  You will be okay.

It is hard, but we need to try to find a way to keep going.  We need to muddle through the things that get in the way of making a difference with our students so that we can actually do the things that make a difference for our students.  It is an unfortunate reality of the education world we live in…but we can do it!

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)

Just keep swimming.  Just keep going.  You will get to warmer, less rough waters and remember why you jumped in the teaching ocean in the first place.

 

One thing that might help during this rough patch is to carve out sometime to do something fun with your students…even if it is only for five minutes.  Sometimes fun is it’s own standard.  It is an unspoken standard that is more important that other standards sometimes for both you and your students…and it can be the best kind of classroom management.

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)

It is okay to play for a minute…it is okay to be silly.  Don’t forget the business at hand…but give yourself and your students just a moment of less than serious.   It is good for your students.  It is good for you.  It helps you get back on track and remember the destination to which you are swimming.

You are overwhelmed.  It is okay.

You are drowning in the “stuff” of teaching.  You will get through.

You have a purpose…and sometimes moments of fun and silliness can help you fulfill it (and help you survive the stuck under the ocean feeling).

You will survive.  You will thrive.  You’ve got this!

You are awesome.  Never forget that I believe in you!  It will get better.  Just keep swimming.  Just keep going.  Just keep teaching, Teacher!  You rock!

Love, Teacher

Dear Teacher Daily – You Are Going to Make It


Dear Teacher,

Today was tough.
You are going to make it.
You lost your cool.
You are going to make it.
You are doubting yourself.
You are going to make it.
You have too much to do.
You are going to make it.
You have had enough.
You are going to make it.
Tomorrow is a new day
And you are going to make it.

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’ve got this.  Keep going.  Keep on teaching.  You ARE making a difference.  You rock, Teacher!

Love, Teacher