If your students could make you an infographic note of your influence and the difference that you make, I think it would look a lot like this.
I hope that you realize how much you mean to your students, even though they can’t tell you yet. You may never know your true effect, but you are changing lives and futures. Keep fighting. Keep going. Keep teaching!
You are so so awesome! Please remember that you are today. When the going gets tough, awesome is still awesome…and you are awesome! Keep on teaching, you amazing Teacher! Oh, and share this with another teacher that you think could use this message today. Pass on the encouragement!
PS…I am working on a better format of the picture. This is the best I could do this morning because of scanner issues. Sorry!
As a former student, I thank you for the time you took to plan. I thank you for the hours you put into your lessons, but also your willingness to let that time go when opportunities happened in the classroom for deeper learning and you scrapped your plans to teach where we, the students, were are the time.
Thank you for the time you took to set up your classroom. Thank you for the posters and funny jokes about math. Thank you for giving me something to look at in the moments of distraction that helped my mind get back to learning. Thank you for the seating charts and seating changes that helped me learn better, even if I or other students fought them.
Thank you for the care you showed. Day after day, I could never doubt that you cared about me. Though I may not have loved your class, your subject, or thought you were cool, I did ALWAYS know that you cared about me. That really did make me care about what you were trying to teach. I definitely cannot deny it.
Thank you for going the extra mile for me. Thank you for being a great teacher. Thank you for trying new strategies. Thank you for staying after school. Thank you for quick turnaround in grading. Thank you for…well…everything.
Thank you, Teacher!
I am a better teacher because I have your shoulders to stand on. I am better for my students because you were a better teacher than I am. But I am learning. You set a high bar, but I hope to one day reach that goal. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Did I mention, “Thank you”?
We do not hear it enough, and because of that sometimes we lose focus. We are affecting our students, though. This was a heartfelt letter to teachers from my past. We do make a difference. We do. Let us remember why we do what we do and put up with what we put up with. It is for the students. Who knows, you might be teaching the next great teacher! Keep your focus and do what you know to do, and do it well. You are awesome so I know that you will.
Last Friday, I accidentally kicked off a theme that carried through for a week. The challenge of changing the world. When I wrote it, i did not know that it would resonate with people so much…one of those people being me. It has stuck with me this week. The idea that we, especially we teachers, can change the world is a powerful idea. Not only is it powerful, it is true.
Anyone person can change the world. Teachers have a chance to multiply their change almost exponentially…only the change is done person-to-person and one student at a time. You, me, and every other teacher needs to realize this. It is really what we do. It is a part of the job, It is really part of the focus of what we do. We influence students. We help them to learn, think, and stand on their own.
Students’ personal change while they are in our class, that change that will allow them to face a world that does not yet exist, is the goal. The content is not the goal..though it is the medium through which we teach the skills they need for the world ahead of them…it is the means to the end, not the end itself. We are planting seeds for the future, and the subject and details we teach are just the outer layer of the seed.
Students. They are our “clients.” They are who we work for. They are the concentration area of our job. They are the center of the plans we make for what we do. They are the end goal of our work. They are the work we do. Pure and simple. Students are the change the world needs. We help them learn to be that change. Period. The end. Students.
So…we change the world by focusing on students.
The hardest part. We wait. We wait for the world to change. We wait for the seeds to grow. We wait for the plant to mature. We wait for the adult plant to spread seeds of its own. It is the life cycle of plants. It is the life cycle of teaching. It is the life cycle of world change.
It is more than waiting though. When I say that we wait on the world to change, I am not talking about waiting like in the John Mayer song. It is not sitting back and waiting for something to happen. It is not waiting for the world to change itself. We, as teachers, don’t wait that way…and we should teach our students not to wait that way.
We proactively wait. We keep digging. We keep planting more seeds. We keep working on changing the world. We influence more and more people. We connect with more and more students (especially the difficult ones). We keep on going day after day after day. We never give up trying until start seeing some change in some way every where we look.
We work to cause the conditions of change. We wait for change. While we wait, we cause more conditions for change. We wait. While we wait, we…well, you get my drift here. We keep going.
The world WILL change. You are a part of it. To quote from the Kid President song I shared last week, “The world can be better, and you’ll be the cause.” Change is coming. We just have to work and wait….and “keep going, keep going, keep going.”
You an agent of change for AWESOME…because you are awesome. Keep going. Just because you don’t see change, it doesn’t mean that it is not happening. You are doing what it takes! Keep doing what you do, you amazing teacher, you! Keep going. Keep on teaching, Teacher! Oh, and keep going (did I mention that?)!