Posted in General Inspiration, Get Psyched!, Pep Talk, Uncategorized

Why We Fight…

Dear Teacher,

I do not know how you feel right now, but I feel like I have been in a fight.  Not a fist fight, but a battle.  The beginning of this school year has been a little rough.  My students have been great!  I am not talking about them.  It has just been tough to get things going.

I have written a lot about the changes that I am striving to make this year.  It is not easy to dramatically change how you do what you have been doing for a long time.  This is my eighth year of teaching, so I am trying to break a lot of old habits and undo a lot of the “old ways” that I have taught.  When the going gets hectic and the clearness of my schedule gets muddied, I want to fall back into what is comfortable.

Yesterday was most definitely one of those days.  I had to constantly remind myself why the changes are important.  I had to keep telling myself why I needed to keep going on the road that I am on.  I had to look at myself and tell me that I can not give up and I can’t surrender.

It was hard.  I was left feeling beat up by the battle by the end of the day.  So now, at the beginning of a new day, as I sat and thought about what I might want to write for a post, I wondered what I needed to hear myself.  What I came up with is that I need some motivation.  Something to pump me up.  So I went on a search.

I found a pretty motivating (and a little funny from the way it was set up) set of movie speeches to get me fired up and ready for the day.  Have a watch and listen with me.

I love the way that was put together!  Are you more ready for the day now (or tomorrow if you are seeing this at the end of the school day)?  I know I am!

As I was looking for this, I found another video that was shown at a training I recently went to.  This video helped me this morning, as well.  It is a look at the recent past and the exponential changes we have seen in present and full of predictions for the continued changes into the future.  It is a reminder that we are teaching students for who the future is unknown.  There is a statistic that keeps changing (in the upward direction) of the percentage of jobs that will be available to our students when they are adults that do not exist at the moment.  This is in the video.  This statistic never ceases to astound me.  It is eye-opening to think that our students are going to enter a world that does not exist yet, and this world is unfathomable to us at the moment.  We HAVE to be on our game.  We have to fight!

I probably ought to share the video.  🙂  Even if you have seen it before, it is worth another watch.

After this, I don’t have a lot to say.  I need to let all of this sink in for you and let it motivate you for your “fight” today.  I do want to close with a quote that goes along with the video and what this information means for us as teachers.  It is from Eric Hoffer, a 20th Century American philosopher.  What is amazing about this quote is that he past away in 1983…a little before the impending technology boom that has caused much of the exponential changes that we are seeing.

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Teacher, I hope you have a great day.  I hope you have a great end to the week.  I hope next week brings some of the awesome that you are working towards with your student.  You are awesome and amazing!  You are fighting the good fight.  Keep fighting and keep on teaching!

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)
(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use the image if you link back to the blog and/or give credit to Dear Teacher/Love Teacher)
Posted in Get Psyched!, Pep Talk, Theme Song

Monday Morning Motivation: Here Comes the BOOM!

Dear Teacher,

For the last two Mondays, I have really striven to give you some motivation and get you pumped up for the week ahead.  I have been posting theme songs for you to play while you read, and this has been extremely popular and well-received.  I have loved doing this myself, and I the theme songs have stuck with me through the week.  So, I think I am going to stick with this new trend I started.  I have a week of training that I am excited about; it is training about poverty and brain research that I think is going to give a new edge to my teaching next year, and this song sums up how I feel about it.  Play the song before you read on.  It is an awesome song and a pretty funny video (you may want to watch it after you read, if you have never seen it before).  Also, it is the theme song for the movie, Here Comes the Boom, which is a movie that centers on a teacher that is committed to the needs of students (namely the Arts Program).

(Disclaimer–if you have never heard this song before, there is a lyric you may think is saying something that it is not…the line is “big S.D.” for San Diego…not what it sounds like the first time you hear it.)

Teacher, you are awesome.  This week is yours to own.  Don’t let this week happen to you, happen to this week!  Make a plan and stick to it.  Follow through.  Set a goal to accomplish something big, work at it, and accomplish that goal.  You can do it!  Tell this week that the BOOM is coming and you are the one bringing it!

No matter what you have ahead of you, you’ve got this.  You are amazing.  You can get through anything.  You can do anything.  You can achieve anything.  You can do anything and get through everything, if you set your mind to it.  Set your mind to it and do it!

For those of you teaching right now:

  • Get your plans together…make them happen.
  • When things get off plan, monitor and adjust like a champ.  You can make anything work.  Roll with the punches that come, and punch back with your skills, experience, and abilities.
  • Know where you want your students to be at the end of the week and get them there.  Use what ever you need to use to get them there.  You are awesome and know what to do.  Do it.
  • DO NOT let the little things get to you.  Stay calm, stay patient, and stay in charge.  You are a professional and you know what you are doing.  Rely on the fact the that little things do not mean much in the big picture.  Work around them and do not let them get you frustrated.
  • Love your students above all else.  Knowing and caring for your students is the most important thing you do.  Encourage them and tell them how much you care.  Tell them how awesome they are and why they are awesome.

For those of you on summer break:

  • Don’t let the summer get away from you.  Make a plan to accomplish something this week and then accomplish it.  It can be for school or otherwise, but do something this week.  Get something done.
  • Read one thing to help you do even better next year than the last.  Find a good article on teaching/education (Edutopia is a great source, my current favorite).  Read a book.  Find something.  Hone your craft this week, Teacher!
  • Come up with one new goal for next year.  Find a new place you want your students next year or a new strategy to try.  I gave a similar challenge yesterday.  It is so important to set new expectations for yourself to rise to higher heights and become an even better teacher!
  • Plan a lesson or unit for next year.  Don’t put it off.  Plan to do something for next year this week.  The more you do now, the better off you will be next year!
  • Make a plan for getting to know your students and other teachers next year and plan ways to spread encouragement and hope. I know a good place that you can find notes to print and write on!  🙂  Know how you will get to know people and spread the Encouragement Revolution next year!

You are so incredibly awesome!  This week is yours for the taking.  Take it!  Make it yours!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…While I am at a training this week, I need your help.  Please share this link in your Edmodo communities and groups, share on Facebook, share on Twitter, and where ever else you can!  Spread the encouragement because I can’t!  Thanks!  You are awesome!  🙂

Posted in Get Psyched!, Theme Song, You Are Awesome!!!

(your students are) Holding Out for a Hero

Dear Teacher,

I have decided to make Monday morning posts about motivation and getting you psyched up for the week.  As you saw last Monday, I think music and theme songs a great way to do this.  Today I am going to mix that with another thing that jacks me up and gets me motivated to do great things…superhero movies!  I may be showing a little bit of my inner-geek with this, but I can’t help it.  Superhero movies make me want to go out and do awesome things!  This is a theme song that you might want to watch after you get done reading…but go ahead and have it playing while you read the rest of the post.  🙂

Teacher, you are a superhero with superpowers.  You see things other people don’t see.  You can think in ways other people don’t think. You do feats of planning and preparation that other people could not keep up with.  You grade with heart…looking for more than what was and wasn’t correct, you look for what needs to be worked on and honed in each student.  You do great and amazing things…even if other people do not always see you do them.

Your students need a hero!  They need someone to fight for them.  They need someone to take a stand for them.  They need someone who will not settle for mediocrity in them.  They need someone to see the potential in them and help them live up to that potential!  They need you, Super Teacher.

Be that hero for your students…

  • Plan like you mean it and know you are doing something that needs to be done for your students.  This goes double for teachers on summer break…PLAN!  You are giving yourself weapons to fight with for next year.  You are honing your superpowers!  Plan like you are a hero in training!
  •  Love on your students.  Get to know them.  When you know them, you are so much more invested in the fights you need to fight for them!  Summer teachers, plan for getting to know your kids and investing in their lives…the time planning for this will pay off in big dividends when you are more invested in each student.
  • Use your gifts and talents.  Do what you do well, and keep on doing it.  Play to your strengths and plan for ways to do so.
  • FIGHT!!  Fight for your students.  Fight for what is right.  Do what you know is right.  Fight for what you need to help your students succeed.
  • Never give up!  When the fight is tough and the going is rough, DO NOT GIVE UP!  Be the hero and keep fighting.  It will pay off!

You are a hero and you are awesome!  You do amazing things…keep doing them.  Fight hard to be the hero your students need.  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway contest on the Facebook Page.  It is over at midnight on Friday, July 5th, 2013.