Getting Back on Your Teaching Feet…


Dear Teacher,

It has been a little while.  Last you heard from me was a few weeks ago.  I told you about my computer issues (which still aren’t over), but that is not the only reason.  The other reason you haven’t heard much from me is because life is busy, difficult, and demanding.  But that is not news for you – you are a teacher!

The holidays are usually fun and somewhat relaxing…but they also remind us that the teaching life is not easy.  We are reminded of the other things in life that we neglect for the sake of our students (which is a noble act, don’t get me wrong).  It is great to live our “normal life” for a couple of weeks!  But then we have to get back to our other world, and that can be a difficult transition.

That is part of what has happened for me with the blog.  I took a break because of the computer issues and the holidays…and it now has taken me a while to get back on my Dear Teacher feet.  It is a time and energy commitment to blog here and try to say something to help your day better as a teacher.  It is a sacrifice that I willingly make because you are worth it and deserve it, but it takes a while to get back into the swing of it.  Today is my attempt.  I am sorry if this is lackluster…but I am trying.

And that is the key for us after a break, bad day, or difficulties in or out of school…we just have to get on our feet and try.

We don’t need to worry about being awesome (though, you always are)…we just have to move and focus on our students.  We don’t have to have the most amazing lesson.  We don’t need to make amazing Dead Poet’s Society inspirational speeches.  We don’t have to add Pinterest-ing features to our classrooms.  We don’t even have to be completely “all there” yet.  We just need to be there and make an attempt.  The more we try to do the things we know are important, the more that we start being the amazing selves that we are.

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DearTeacherLT2015 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)

This is what it takes to make a difference for our students and change their futures.

All it takes is you being you and being there trying.  Day in and day out.  Some days will be great.  Some days will be the opposite.  And most days will just be somewhere in the middle.  But it the sum of these days that matter.  You just have to get up, get going, and try.

What is great about you is that you know this, and you do this.

This is why you are AWESOME and you are making a difference.

Please know that even when you don’t hear from me, I truly believe in you and am always in your corner.  You are amazing and you totally rock!  Thanks for all you do and keep on teaching, Teacher!

 

 

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Ain’t No Tired Like Teacher Tired…


Dear Teacher,

It’s been a while.  I am sorry about that.  I have been busy…teacher busy.  You know, no time for the extras in life.  I know I am preaching to the choir here, but being a teacher is exhausting!

So much to do.  So much to think about.  So much to plan for.  So much to do.  Wait, did I say that already?

And that is just the school stuff.  Then there is home life.  Friend life.  Life.  Who has the time?

We do…we make the time…but we are tired.  Being tired is okay.  It comes with the job.  But…

Make sure your tired is worth it.

Sometimes our tired comes from doing things that really, really, REALLY matter for our students (and our life).  Sometimes it doesn’t.

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)

Sometimes we are spending our time and energy on things that may not be that important.  Often times, these things are given to us to do by other.  Other times we give these things to ourselves.

It is easier said than done, but we have got to prioritize…and that means taking a hard look at ourselves and what we are doing.  It might mean carving away things we love to do in our classroom but really aren’t making much of a difference.  It might also mean taking a stand with powers that be about things that are not worth the time and energy taken away from your students.

It is hard, but you need to do it, Teacher.  I need to do it.  Our students can’t afford to have us burn out.

And I know you can do this.  You are awesome!  You are amazing.  You can definitely make changes and fight battles for the sake of your students and your sanity!  You can do it.  I can do it.  We just have to step up and do it!

I can’t be anymore specific on how to prioritize because I don’t know your situation.  But I think you know the things that can and need to go.  Whatever they are, I totally have your back and believe in you.  I don’t want an amazing teacher like you to burnout and leave the field that needs you.

Have I mentioned that you are awesome?  Well, you are!

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)

Thank you for all you do.  Thank you for the work you put it.  Thank you for fighting hard to make a difference in the life of your students.  You are.  You definitely are!  You rock!  Keep going and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…Could you do me a favor and check out the new posters I created and let me know what you think?  They are based on growth mindset.  I tried to come up with a way to promote the mindset with my classroom walls.  This is the second set of these (you can get a free preview of some of the posters from each set here).  I am a big believe in promoting growth mindset…and students eyes wonder around the room anyway, why not have something on the wall to help inspire them to set goals and work hard to reach them?!  Oh, and if you like them, they are on sale right now!  Thanks!  🙂

DearTeacherLT2016 - The Motivational/Growth-Mindset ABCs (volume two)

DearTeacherLT2016 – The Motivational/Growth-Mindset ABCs (volume two)

 

(you’re gonna hear me) Roar


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

Wake up and roar! (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,

Monday again.  Get pumped up.  You’ve got this.  Today is yours.  This week is yours.  You are a teacher…Mondays are your day to shine!

For that reason, you need a theme song.  You need to let this week know that you are coming.  It is time for the “You” show.  This theme is your song and your introduction to the week.

I have your theme ready, but this week is going to be a little different.  Before I let you click play, I have something for you to read first.

I knew what song I wanted to feature this morning, but when I went on a video search I came across a cover of this song, and an amazing, heart-breaking, and inspiring story.  I decided that even though the music side of this version is not as powerful, the story behind this one makes this version a thousand times more inspiring,  I think as teachers, this one is going to make us face the week even more courageous than we would have without reading, seeing, and hearing it.

I want you to read this before playing the song.  It is the description from YouTube.  It tells the story of Olivia Wise.  It tells why this song was recorded and presented on YouTube.  Please read and be inspired.

Olivia Wise has Brain Cancer. She came into a recording studio for her first time and recorded the Katy Perry song Roar. She couldn’t walk or stand, she didn’t have her full breath or the energy she used to, and she was managing her new pains and new limitations. While her physical condition was rapidly fading, her spirit remained untouched.

Olivia is a fighter and has gone through the fire, in fact, she was going through the fire while she recorded this song, but you wouldn’t know it, because she was dancing right through it. She is an inspiration, a champion, and my hero. This is her Roar.

To donate to the Liv Wise Fund: http://www.livwisefund.com
To donate to the Liv Wise Fund:http://my.sickkidsdonations.com/perso…
or Phone 416-813-5320

Here is a CNN story about her and her recording of the song.

I am not sure what I can say after this story.  I am not sure if I need to say anything.

What worries you?

What stresses are you dreading this week?

What pressures are you feeling?

What makes you anxious?

Do these things matter in the grand scheme of things?  Do they need to own your energy and patience?  Do they need to master you?  Do they need to break you this week?

What is most important?  What matters most?  What deserves your time and energy?  What deserves you and your life?

Focus on what really matters.  Focus on your students.  Focus on your fellow teachers.  Focus on your family.  Focus on what helps you be there for others.  Focus on you (in a good way).

After hearing what others are going through and fighting through, it really gives us perspective on ourselves.  Really, what is it that truly matters?

What is the big picture?  What, if we think about it, won’t matter later?  Can we let those things go?  Can we at least put them on the back burner?

I want to challenge you this week to let some of the stress go.  I want you to think of what your students need, need of you, and need you to be.  Put your energy there.  Spend your time there.  Let those things take your attention.  If other things go, or at least make them wait.  You will never regret putting your students and their learning first.

I think you will do more than not regret it, you will thank yourself for it later.  So will your students.  So will the future.

Focus on people this week.  Be there for students, teachers, friends, and family.

Don’t let the weekly pressures choke out the space you need to have for others.

Have the eye of the tiger.  Be louder than the lion.  Stand firm.  Let this week and the stress that comes with it hear you roar as you keep your priorities straight and you make a difference.

You are a champion.  Prove it.  Show it.  Roar!

You are amazingly awesome!  You are capable of not letting this week rule over you.  You won’t let it.  You will let your focus lie where it should.  You are going to roar!  I know you will!  You are a great teacher, so of course you will!  Be great and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Apple Influence


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

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

Dear Teacher,

Good Saturday morning!

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, it was quite a busy day.  If I find the time, I might do two posts today.  For now it will just be a quick one.  A friend of mine share this quote with me.  He is a “teacher” at our school (he is not a teacher-teacher, but he is a teacher, he runs our ISS), and he is really good at working with our most difficult cases.  This has stuck with me ever since he said it do me.

I looked it up and there are conflicting sources as having said this, but the top two are Robert Schuller and Karen Jensen.  They both have a nice ring to them, and Jensen focuses on teaching, so I am going to share both.

Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed. -Shuller

You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the apples in a seed.  When you teach, you will never know how many lives you will influence…you are teaching for eternity. -Jensen

I share this quotes and this poster because we need to focus on the big picture.  This week I talked a lot about our need as teachers to change (Wednesday and Thursday), and I will continue to talk about it for the next couple of weeks…can you tell the workshop I went to had a big effect on my thinking?  We do need to take a look in the mirror and see where we can change to make a bigger impact on students and our learning.  I think the idea of never knowing how many lives the live you influence will go on to influence.  It puts it all into perspective.

It is time for us to get out of our comfort zones.  Another Jensen, Eric Jensen (who put on the training I went to) said something that stuck with all of us there:

Is maintaining you comfort level more important than our kids graduating?

Read that again and let it sink in.  Is being in a teaching “grove” and being good enough worth any student not graduating if you could have affected this at some point for the better?  This should speak to you no matter what kind of school you teach at or the grade level you teach?  Can you stand up and say, like Jaime Escalante said at t staff meeting, “I’m not [doing enough].  I could teach more.”  Escalante is the teacher that the movie Stand and Deliver was about and the center of my first Teacher Rockstar post series I hope begin next week.

We can all do more.  It is probably not “doing more” for most teachers, especially you.  You, and others, already do so much.  It is more about doing what you do more effectively and with a new focus.  I think the quote about seeds and apples is a great place to start to thinking about what our focus is.  How can we grow the most apples from each seed that go on to grow more apples from more seeds?

You are so awesome!  I know that some of this is hitting home, because the post It’s Not Me, It’s YOU has been the most viewed post here…hitting 800 in three days…and still going up.  I am going to keep hitting this them, but I am also going to give you so help, ideas, and models that will help us all go out there and grow as many apples as we can…and we will never know the final tally!  You ARE making a differences and influencing those seeds!  Keep growing and keep teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…Dear Teacher/Love Teacher has made the move use Instagram, along with the other social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).  Check us out!