Today, step out in faith. You know your students. You know what they know, need to know, and how to get from point A to point B. This is what you do. This is who you are. You are a teacher. You teach. And you’re good at it, I might add.
I know, I know. There are a lot of voices. There are a lot of expectations. There are a lot of opinions, best practices, and researched-based strategies. But…you are the one that knows what you do best and what your students need from you.
I am not saying do not try what you learn in PD, from books, and the latest post from Edutopia. By all means, try strategies and ideas to make your teaching better. BUT, I am saying, be guided in your decisions by the one thing you have that is better than anyone else’s ideas or opinions…knowledge of your students.
You know what you need to do. You know what resources you need to seek out. You know what needs to be tried for the sake of your students. You are the key to it all.
Be confident. Take a stand for what needs to happen in your classroom. Do what needs to be done. Advocate for your students and teach the way that they need you to teach.
Will you have to defend yourself? Yes.
Will you have to take a little flack? Of course.
Will you be worn out, beat up, and beat down? Probably.
Will it be worth it? Eventually…and you may not see the payoff yourself.
Why do it then? Because you are a teacher and this is what you do. You care for your students. You want them to reach their potential. You are willing to pour yourself out for your students.
Teacher, you know how to teach YOUR students. Teach them well. Do not be afraid to teach the way that needs to be taught. You’ve got this!
You are awesome! You know what to do. Do it. Teach your heart out today and keep on teaching, Teacher!
For two wonderful, glorious minutes I thought today was Friday. Then like a slap to the face the shock set in that it was merely Thursday. It was like a cold water wake up…but now I am away to my Thursday reality.
That reality is simple:
I am a teacher.
It is a school day.
I have a job to do.
I have minds to mold.
I have hearts with which to connect.
I have students’ needs to meet.
I have arrows to block from my students.
I have monsters that need to be fought for my students.
I have content to teach.
I have concepts to make real.
I have weight that I need to carry for others.
I have lessons that need to be lessened.
I have ideas that need to be thought.
I have thoughts that need to be communicated.
I have too much to do and prioritizing that needs to happen.
I have a future to affect.
I have a world to make better.
I have a difference to make.
I have students who need me.
I have me to be.
I am a teacher.
The thing is, no matter what day of the week it is. You, I, and all teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world. We need to embrace all that we are as educators. I hear others (and myself) complain about all that we have to be for students. I am not talking about standards and administration expectations…I mean all that we have to be for students. We have to give them supplies. We have to make sure the get to where they are going. We have to remind, reteach, and re-give instructions until we can’t take it anymore. We have to be nurses. We have to be moms and dads. We have to be mentors. We have to be protectors. We have to be advocates. We have to be forgiving. We have to be patient. Oh, and we have to be teachers. We have so much that we have to be. It is easy to be overwhelmed.
I need to spend more time embracing these all-too-many roles that I have. I need to remember why I do what I do. It is because I care for my students. If they do not have what they need outside of school in these many parts we have to play, then we need to be those things and do so with pride. This is why we are in this game to start with. We are here to make a difference. We need to make that difference and do so joyfully…even when we are too tired to do so much.
And even when it is not Friday.
You are so awesome. I know you are better at embracing these things than I am. One day I will be as good as you. You are making that difference. You are embracing those roles. You are amazing! Keep on teaching and making a difference, Teacher!
Good morning! Ready or not, a new week is here. Whether you are at the beginning, middle, or end of a school year, Mondays can be rough. They are especially difficult if you are feeling the grind of the work that we do. This is why I do my Monday posts. This is why I give you a theme song for the day and week. Sometimes I have a good idea for the song I want to use and words to write to go with it, sometimes it just comes together when I go looking for a song.
This morning I had a song and words in mind, but then when the search for the song began something else happened. I found a song I have never heard that is amazing…and the message from the song is timely and needed by me, so I figure other people are in the same boat. I hope so, it is always weird when the message is just for me! Anywho, for those who know the deal, click play and read on. If you are new to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher, click play, get past the ads, and then read on.
If you have time, watch the video again after reading. It is a pretty inspirational video, at least it was for me!
Teacher, you stand out in a crowd. Not because you want to, it is more because you have to. You stand in front of a group of students every day. You are in the spotlight. You lead a group of people that need you to make choices that affect their future. It is quite overwhelming, if you think about it, but you take it in stride. It is what you are made for…it is what you do and want to do.
Embracing your role, though, doesn’t make it any easier. And it is coupled with many other aspects of your job where you have to make choices that put a bulls-eye on you. You have to fight curriculum battles. You have to work on classroom management. You have to answer to parents. You have to answer to students. You have to answer to administration. You have to answer to your department. You have to answer to your team. You have to answer to your district. You have to…well, I think you get the point. You know this. You are front and center for everything that you do and say in your classroom and beyond.
You have a lot of hats. You play a lot of roles. You do so many things, yet you have the heat of eyes staring at you constantly as you try to make the right decisions day after day after day. You are, like the video, dancing in a crowd of people who are all trying to figure out what you are doing and why.
Sometimes, with all of that, there is pressure to put on a show. There is the temptation to just do what is expected and never be outside of the box. Even when you know that your students need more, the cop-out path of just following the status quo is always in front of you. It is a way out. It is an escape. If you take that route, you can just blame the system if things do not pan out. “I was just following orders” is so much easier to say than “I took a risk, it did not work out, and I am sorry.”
Teacher, I know you. You know what is best for your students. You know what they need and how to push and challenge them to bigger and greater things. You know the risks, but you also see the rewards. You know when to step out. You know when to speak up. You know when to take a stand. You know all of these things…all you need to do is be brave and do them.
I want to see you be brave. I want you to speak the truth. I want you to make the choices that make your students better students and better people. I want you to take the risks you need to take and reap the rewards that come from them. I want to see you be brave.
Rest assured that the system usually comes around to the brave ones. There were many teachers using technology before it was the expectation. They had to defend their choices constantly, and now look at the world of education–the things that once seemed strange is the norm.
There were many “common core” teachers before Common Core was even a thing. They had to defend and stand up for the way that they were teaching. Science teachers had to defend the amount of reading and writing that they pushed. English teachers had to give an account for why they thought informational texts were as important, or even more important than novels. They fought and held their ground, and look at what the world looks like now.
Teacher, keep doing what you know is right. Keep what is best for your students in sight. Don’t be afraid to be brave. Be brave today. Be brave this week. Be brave this year. I just wanna see you be brave!
You are awesome. You are amazing. You are brave. Be these things today! Keep on teaching, Teacher!
Here is just a little reminder of why what you work so hard to do is far more than worth it. You are amazing and awesome, no matter what your day felt like! Keep going! Keep pushing! Keep proving your awesome everyday! You are making a difference, I promise. Keep on teaching, you Magnificent Teacher, you!
Sorry for the shortened and less regularly timed messages this week. We have been working on a big project at my house. We are putting in our own hardwood floors with a little help from some friends. This is where most of my time has gone this week. 🙂
I have learned something from this home project, and it reminds me of teaching. I have learned/remembered that jobs are not always easy. It takes work. You get tired. You get stressed. You have obstacles. You get frustrated. You want to stop. You have to keep going (or not have a kitchen for longer than that is a good idea). You push through. It seems impossible…until you push through that wall and it slowly starts to seem possible…and after a while it almost seems easy…until you are glad that you started the process in the first place.
The kitchen looks good now, but it didn’t for a while. This has been a long week, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel this morning. I feel good, and I could almost see myself taking on a project like this. It is amazing how this transformation happens…from impossible to possible to easy…and sometimes in a very short time.
Think about your toughest year at school, your toughest classes, your toughest students. It was hard. It was stressful. It seemed impossible. You wanted to quit. But you didn’t. You pressed on. You kept going. You made it through. In the end, you probably found that you learned something, you found out more about yourself, and you became a better teacher. It did not feel good going through it, but you felt better in the end once you survived. In the end you were stronger for having gone through the year that you did.
Remember this as you look forward to another year (or right now if you are not on summer break). Nothing lasts for ever, and you CAN persevere. You have made it through before, and you can do it again. What ever you are going through will be worthwhile in the end! You can do it, and it WILL make you a better teacher. Keep going and never give up!
You are an awesome and amazing teacher. You don’t give up and you make something beautiful in the end. You are making such a difference because you do press on through everything! Keep on teaching, Teacher!
PS…Today is the last day for the giveaway at the Facebook page. You need to comment with your story by the midnight tonight (July 5th, 2013). Go check it out and share if you haven’t!
What effect does pride have on you? No, not pride in yourself…though there can be power in that…I mean pride that someone else has in you. What does it do for you to know that someone is really and truly proud of you? How does it feel to hear that from them? What good does it do your your heart, soul, and mind to have someone in your corner, cheering you on, beaming with pride?
Do your students have this in their life?
I am inspired to write about this because of my last class of the day yesterday. As I looked around while they worked, and I had such a feeling of pride. I am so proud of them. I am proud of that class and all of my other classes. They have risen up to meet my expectations this year…and I have very high expectations for my students. I am really, and utterly proud of my students. They are so AWESOME!
Can you look around at your students today and find things to be proud of about them? I would challenge you to try.
And more than that, I challenge you to tell them.
As I looked at my class yesterday, it hit me that I am often struck by proud feelings about them but I do not say it often. They should know how proud I am of them. I need to tell them more often. Pride changes things. Pride helps you want to work harder. Pride makes you strive for success. I need to share how proud I am of my students, and in turn they will keep working hard for more success to make me even prouder of them.
I recently took on the task of writing a personal note to each of my students. In it I tell them how proud I am of them and how awesome they are. I have seen some changes in students just because of these letters. They want to make me proud because I am proud of them. Hope and pride is the light at the end of the tunnel. My students are starting to see the light, and some are running for it as soon as they see it. It is so cool to watch them run towards success and achievement.
Tell your students how proud you are of them today. Write some quick notes. Inject some hope into their lives by giving them some fuel that can ignite into the fire of success. You are proud of them. Let them know!
You are awesome, Teacher. I am proud of you. You do all you can to get your students to see and live up to (and past) their potential. Keep on teaching, Teacher!
You are a rock star waiting in the wings of the stage for your moment in front of the crowd.
This is Monday…your big show. This show sets up every other show this week. Mondays mean more than any other day.
You are ready. You’ve got this. You are rested and ready to go.
You have planned and prepared. You have nothing left but to execute your lessons. You can do this.
No matter what the day brings, you are a professional. You know what to do. Get ready and get out there and do it!
You know your best laid plans will be mostly derailed by lunchtime, but you are ready. You have back up plans. You have a system in place. Don’t think about what can and will go wrong. You do have this. Don’t worry!
Breathe in. Breathe out. It is almost go time. The students are ready for you. Get your mind ready for them.
No matter what happens today, you are awesome. You know that you are. Through all of the monitoring and adjusting, remember to be the awesome that you are!
Get amped up! Get psyched! You live for this! Get your teaching game face on!
Ready or not, it is time to go! You are a teacher. Teach like you know it. Teach like your mean it! You were born for this!
You are awesome! You are believed in! Go out and teach like you know you can! Keep teaching, Teacher!
Today is Friday. Though most people, even some other teachers, view Friday as a day to coast until the weekend, you don’t. Friday is one of the toughest day of the week, second only to Monday. For great teachers like you, Fridays are make-or-break days. They determine how you can evaluate your teaching for the week. Have the students learned everything they needed to? Have you taught in a way that makes everything tie together and give your students long term understanding? Will they know enough to move on in your content for next week? If they don’t have it by Friday, you’ll have to backtrack and lose time on Monday. Sometimes you even have to backtrack and reteach until Tuesday…and all because the previous Friday did not go well. Friday is big. It is huge!
More than teaching and learning, Fridays are big because your students want to coast until the weekend. The later in the day it gets to be on Friday, the less focused your students become. They are thinking about the weekend. More so, if this is near the end of the school year for you, the students are thinking about the weekend and the summer. It gets harder and harder to contain the students and keep them engaged. Fridays are hard because you have to be MORE together with your plans, MORE engaging, MORE patient, MORE understanding, and MORE intentional about every second of class time.
No, Fridays are not easy. Not for you, Awesome Teacher. Fridays are important. You know today is a huge day for your week.
I believe in you, Teacher! Even though this is the day of MORE for you, I know you have MORE to give. Pour it out! Give it all you’ve got! Go big! This is your day, and you’ve got this! You can make this the best Friday that you’ve ever Fridayed! (Yes, I just made up a word, but I am a teacher and I am allowed to do that.)
Teacher, you are AWESOME! Give your students the MORE that you have in you for this Friday! Keep teaching, Teacher! Consider yourself believed in!