Posted in A Call for Help, Hope For Students, Hope for Teachers, More Than Scores, Reason for Teaching, Uncategorized

To the Moon and Back for Teachers

Dear Parent/Guardian of a K-12 student,

I usually only write to teachers to encourage them, challenge them, and give a little hope in impossible situations. However, today I have something on my mind. You and I need to have a little talk.

Every day, some teacher wakes up thinking about your child. That same teacher, and other teachers, spend the week days working with your child trying to get him or her to see the best in themselves and get that best out of them. Every night, those teachers think about what went well, what didn’t, and how to be the best teachers they can be for the sake of your child.

Even on the weekends, holidays, and over the summer, chances are that there is a teacher, and probably more than one, with thoughts about your child and how much the hope for your child’s future.

Whether you think this is happening or not, I guarantee you that it is. You may not always agree with every teacher every year, but they do have the best interest in mind for your child…and most of the time they sincerely care about your child and their past, present, and future. The ones that care the most are probably wearing themselves out for the sake of your child.

And they do this willingly.

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Teachers get into to teaching because they care about kids and want to help them grow in the potential they have. They love watching students become learners and critical thinkers. They love the process of learning and growth of the mind and watching students become the people they can be. This is their heart. They truly care.

This care shows up differently from teacher to teacher. Some teachers are experts at directly connecting to your child. They nurture the emotional as well as the educational side of their students. Other teachers are content magicians. They make subjects come alive to children and inspire them to pursue careers later in life out of pure joy and wonder that was instilled by a passionate teacher. Some teachers make everything about learning fun. Some share their lives and make the students invest in them as a person because they make students care. And I could go on and on…but the care that teachers have for students is real even if it looks different from class to class.

And it is the teachers that work the hardest from the point of their care for students that make the biggest difference.

I mean think back to when you were in school. Which teachers do you remember? I remember a fifth grade math teacher that made everything about math seem like the best thing in the world. I remember a middle school French teacher that made us care about French because she made learning it fun. I remember an English teacher in high school that made me care about Shakespeare because he cared so much about Shakespeare. And I had a math teacher in high school that I am friends with to this day because she cared for me as a person and invested time and energy into all of her students. I am the teacher I am today because of her.

This is what education is meant to be! Yes, content and learning is important and the common thread. But we don’t become learners because of test scores, school ratings, and comparisons to other states and countries. We become learners because of the people that inspire us to learn.

And this is why teachers want to teach.

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This is why I want to talk to you. The system is broken. Teachers are the scapegoats. Everything is focused on results. Teachers are constantly having more and more results-oriented work put upon them. They are forced to teach in specific ways and very little wiggle-room is allowed for decisions based on what they know about their own students.

Schools are thought of like businesses…and every minute of the day is about the end product. And time is money…so teachers have students with them at all times and the paperwork and other responsibilities are put on teachers to do on their own time (remember, the time the teachers use to think about your child and what is best for him or her). A lot of teachers do not even have the luxury of using the restroom during the school day (and this is not an exaggeration).

Teachers are tired. Teachers are exhausted. Teachers are beat up, beat down, emotionally caved in, and about to all burn-out.

Not overplaying this, in a lot of states teachers are already leaving the profession in droves and it it getting worse and worse. The best teachers are leaving. This is the canary in the coal mine. When the best, most veteran, highly thought of teachers are leaving the profession, there is a problem that looks like will not be fixed.

I get to interact with many teachers every day, and I am seeing a trend that is not going to end well for public education, and it is not going to end well for your child getting that education.

Teachers still care, but they just can’t keep going. Something has to give. Something has to change. Something has to happen or we will be soon asking where all the teachers have gone.

This is why I am writing to you, parents and guardians. You see the news. You see how teachers all over the country are fighting. They are not fighting for more money…they are fighting for the respect they deserve and to draw attention to the system that is failing your child. They are fighting for your child!

This is about more than raises, smaller class sizes, and less testing. This is about the ability and freedom to teach your child, connect with them, and help them to become real learners and adults who can make this world a better place.

Teachers want to be able to give your students the same opportunities we all had to grow and learn and explore the world and be connected to educators that make them care about what they are learning. That world barely exists anymore, and it is slowly dying. Teachers are trying to save it! But they need your help.

Please talk to teachers and learn about what is going on and their concerns about the system. Get involved and find out what is going on at the local and state level in schools and how the system is changing to help teacher or changing to hinder them. Talk to leaders and share your concerns. Join the fight with teachers at the state level and demand a system that is best for your children…and one that will inspire them to become the people you know that they can be.

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Fight with us…not against us. Learn what we are fighting for…it really is all about your child!

Thank you for reading! Please share and spread the word. Teachers need your help more than ever!

You rock because you care about your child’s future! Thanks for joining the fight!

Love, Teacher

Posted in Uncategorized

And Now a Word from Today’s Teaching Sponsor…

Dear Teacher,

It was a long day, but you made it! Take a breath and take a break. It is okay if this evening is sponsored by a different beverage and chocolate. 🙂

You are awesome and totally rocked it today! Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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Posted in Uncategorized

Help Me to Help You (and say thank you to my wife)…

Dear Teacher,

I don’t usually do this, and I rarely ask for anything in return for the work I do with Dear Teacher/Love Teacher…but I am going to veer from that today. I need to ask a favor…and it is not about me…it is really for my wife and her patience for the many years of me doing this and using our own money and a whole lot of time (that is taken away from her and our family as I work on things for the blog, Facebook, Instagram, etc…).

I started the blog in 2013 after a training that included how writing notes to students can help them build confidence and connect with you as a teacher. I loved it and started doing that. It made me think about how I could use that in my life. There was so little to encourage teachers. So I started writing notes to teachers and posting them. That led to this Facebook page and then the other social medias. I even had a Remind class to send texts to teachers for a couple of years.

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

I was overwhelmed by the response. I definitely was not the only one who needed this. So I threw myself completely into this. I spend time and money on this because it was important. My wife understood and was willing to sacrifice the pieces of my that went into this. She is awesome! Along the way, however, I changed positions to work as a teacher at our district science center, and the commute to work became an hour round trip…that time led to my work here dropping off, and the longer I was out of the classroom, I felt like I had lost my voice in doing this.

Where I work, though, I see teachers every day in my job. I have seen morale plummet over the last couple of years, and I realized it was time to get the Dear Teacher machine running again. And I have. Again, not asking for anything in return.

My wife has been patient with it…but this time it is harder because I don’t have as much time to give every day. So…a vote for me for this cruise is a thank you to my wife for her patience and sacrifices for me doing this. Please consider giving this a vote, especially if you have enjoyed posts and images and have shared them. Please share this as well. My wife is amazing with letting me do this without complaint and completely deserves this! Please click on the link below and vote.

Thank you! You rock, 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)

PS…you can learn more about me from the bio on the entry. Some of you have asked to know more about “the man behind the curtain.” Here is your chance. ðŸ™‚

Posted in Uncategorized

Teacher, You ARE Going to Make It

Dear Teacher,

This one is an old one, but it is a good one…and a short one! I can’t help but think someone out there needs to hear this today. You ARE going to make it, Teacher. You ARE making a difference. And you do TOTALLY ROCK!

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!

Love, Teacher

Posted in Uncategorized

Just Another Manic Monday

Dear Teacher,

Let’s face it, Mondays are the worst.

They come to quickly. They stay too long. They don’t cooperate with is. And they usually and generally stink.

However much we don’t like them, they always come…and they always go. We make it through no matter what they throw at us. Even the baddest of the bad ones eventually go away.

But…I want to challenge you to think about them in another way.

Think about your students that may not have a stable living situation. They may move between family members. They may change apartments once every few months (after evictions are served). They may live at a shelter or in a motel. They may even live in a car.

Think about your students that may not always have enough food to eat away from school. Their parents may be between jobs. Their food money may be squandered away by caregivers. They may have the weekend backpack of food stolen. They may be hungry for any number of reasons.

Think about the students that may have a rough home life. They may see violence or be victims of it. There may be abuse…emotional, physical, or even worse. They may be surrounded by things and people you never dreamed of encountering.

Now, think about what Mondays look like to them.

Mondays can not come soon enough.

Mondays mean safety.

Mondays mean stability.

Mondays mean food.

Mondays mean love.

Mondays mean you…you who cares for them.


Let this Monday be different for you. See it as a chance to see the kids that need you most. Allow it to be you chance to let them know they are loved and have a place in your class with you. And maybe bring and extra snack or two…just in case someone needs a little something hidden in their backpack.

You rock teacher! You do care and you are the reason that Mondays are special to some of those that need you most. Thanks for all that you do! Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher!

Posted in Uncategorized

Pep Talks and Color Copy Paper

Dear Teacher,

No matter what you are going through…

No matter what other people think…

No matter how you are feeling about this school year…

You ARE a great teacher!

You care for those kids.

You do whatever it takes.

You ARE making a difference!

You are awesome…room full of free copy paper awesome!

Please don’t give up! Take time and take stock of what is going right this year and focus on those things. See that you do matter and are doing a great job!

I am proud of you and know you can make it!

You really do rock, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in Uncategorized

Remember What You Are, Teacher…

Dear Teacher,

I am writing this mid-week, but who knows when you might read it. No matter what day of the week or time of the school year, I want you to remember something…


The world at large has no idea what it means to be in your classroom with your kids this year. They want to boil what you do down to a formula or thing that can be measured. But it is not about numbers or about data. It is about what is behind each set of eyes that look to you everyday from those seats in your room. You try to know what they need and work hard to make sure that happens. It is hard to do with everything else you are asked to do, but that is your goal and that is your heart.

Not going for political thought here, but the legislators and federal and state admin do not have a clue what it means to be you in front of your class and meeting the needs that are there each and every day. They say that they care for the students…and I am sure that in some way that they do…but you are the eyes, hands, and heart that is actually there for the students. That is what drives you…those kids in your room. You are more important than what comes in a bill or document from somewhere far away from where you are. I know that those things effect you, and it is right to speak up…and it is right to speak up because you are those eyes, hands, and heart there for students. Don’t lose heart!

I could go on and talk about how school admin does not get you every day, how your friends misunderstand what it is you truly do for a living, how parents do not always see what you are seeing, and how students do not yet comprehend the hard choices you make that are best for them in the long run…but I won’t. Just know that I know and get it…and I want to encourage you to keep doing what you do.

You are amazing! Do not let all of the stuff that has been piled up on you destroy you today. Take today for what it is and make the best today for your students. No matter what is on you, YOU’VE GOT THIS!

Keep on going! Keep on fighting! Keep on teaching, Teaching!

Love, Teacher

PS…If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments. If you like the post and it encouraged you, please share…there are a lot of hurting teachers out there right now! And if you there are certain types of posts you would like to see more of or less of, or if you have an idea for a post for me to do, please let me know…