Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Mondays, Note to Teachers, Pep Talk, Perseverance

[put your teaching heart in] Drive


Dear Teacher,

You know, what we do is amazing.  We are teachers!  We get to help students become the people they will be in the future.  We get to live in the teachable moments of every day.  It is a pretty great line of work!

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

I have shared it before, but last year was a tough year for me.  I won’t get into it now, however it was a difficult year with students and then to top of it test scores might have been the lowest for me.  Even though I felt like it may my best year as a teacher after working through the challenges, I can’t help but wonder if it was a net loss of a year.  I don’t know.

I share that because I stumbled on a great song accidentally because of Twitter (by the way, if you aren’t using Twitter, you should be…I am working on a post on the whys…if you are on it, you should be following Sean Gaillard, Remind, Dear Teacher (of course), among many others!).  Through a random set of events, I was introduced to the music of Shayna Leigh and the song I am about to share.  When I heard it, I knew that I found the perfect song for the first theme song post of the new year!  That said, let’s get to the encouragement!

If you aren’t familiar with how theme song posts work, click play on the song (get through any ads if they play first), and then start reading.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.  Let’s go!

We are teachers.

We carry so much with us from day to day, quarter to quarter, and year to year.

All careers have baggage, but probably none more than being a teacher.

We invest so much of who we are into what we do.

Sometimes it can be hard to recover from the hurt of some of the hard times that come with what we do.

That hurt can weigh us down and cause fear from stepping out to far outside of the box or outside of our comfort zone.

We fight against that fear, but it always seems to be there.  It is just on the periphery.  It stalks us.  It taunts us.  Occasionally, it overwhelms us.  Other times it drives us to push forward and do more.

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

The anxiety does not define us, but it does hang out around us.

Some days and years are worst than others.

But there is a way to drive it away.

And it is so simple that it is hard to do.

Remember.

Remember who you were when you started teaching.

You were nervous, but when it came to students you were fearless.

Remember that new teacher that was ready to set the world on fire and change the future single-handedly!

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

That person is still inside of you.  That person is still you.  You are still fearless.  You still have the fire.

Rekindle that fire and remember.

  • You believed every student mattered and you acted on that belief.
  • You did not care what other people thought, you did what counted most for students.
  • You did not worry about test scores because what really made the difference was your connection with students.
  • You focused on the teaching and learning process individually, not what you were being told worked best for all.
  • You let love and care for each of those people in your room drive your instruction and behavior.
  • You believed that what you did with each child truly made a difference.
  • You had confidence in yourself and your gifts/skills as a teacher.

All of those things are still true.  That never stopped being true.  The baggage of prior years and yesterdays mistakes do not define you.  Your drive and love for students does…and that is still there.  Remember it today!

Teacher, drive back to where you started.  That is where you live as a teacher.  And that is what will get you back on your feet to try again.

You are an amazing teacher!  Never forget that!  You are making a difference and what you do does matter!  It matters more than you know!  Keep on believing in yourself and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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Posted in Pep Talk, Theme Song, You Are Awesome!!!

Choose Your Theme Song…


(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)

Dear Teacher,

I don’t know about you, but I am swamped with a million things to do and time to do about one or two.  So, blog time is kind of on the back-burner at the moment.  For that reason, today I going to be a little different.

I am going to link a whole bunch of my theme song posts, and I want you to pick your favorite, come back here and share which one you like most and why, and then share your favorite post in your social networks.  Tomorrow I will look at the comments and the stats for the posts and declare the “All-Time Favorite Theme Song Post.”

Who’s in?

Alright, well, check out a few, pick your fave, come talk about it, and then share the link with your friends.  Which one do you think will win?  🙂

Which will be your theme this week?  Why?  Share it!

You are awesome!  I know you will rock this week.  I hope you found a theme song to help you rock it harder!  You are amazing and you are making a difference.  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use this picture if you link back to my blog.)
(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use this picture if you link back to my blog.)
Posted in Pep Talk, Perseverance, Poster/Graphic, Theme Song

Standing Outside the Fire


(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)

Dear Teacher,

Well, I am a day late, but it is still early in the week and I bet we could all use a theme song for it…especially those who had a day off yesterday.  So let’s get to it.  This song is going to be a “blast from the past” for a lot of us, but for some it may be the first time to hear this song.  Whether it is new to you or a reminder of more youthful days, this song is a great theme for teachers and one we should hear and think about.

Click play, get through the ad if there is one, and then read on.

Teacher, like it or not, we are heroes.  We fight battles, we run into danger, and we do the impossible.  If not literally, we all do this figuratively.  We take on the world of our students and help them through it and get them to the other side into adulthood and the future.

Not all teachers take this seriously.  Some teachers look at this as more as a job than a calling and desire.  They come in, survive the day, and put up with their students.  They tow the line.  They don’t step on toes.  They teach what and how they are told to teach.  They do little connect to students and see the student as the goal…the content is the goal and teaching it is success.

These teachers “stand outside the fire.”

That is not you, Teacher.

You dance within the flames.  You take what you do and what you are in stride and with confidence.  You know teaching is more than, well, teaching.  It is connecting.  It is getting to know your students.  It is understanding your students.  It is understanding the teaching and learning dynamic.  It is teaching skills outside of your subject area.  It is taking risks.  It is being bold.  It is being brave.  It is taking on the fight and being the hero that your students need you to be.

You are not content with the status quo.  You are not happy with just teaching your standards.  Your students need more.  You need more.

You are not afraid to step on toes when it comes to the needs of your students.  You know what they need, you know how they learn, you know what they are capable of and their potential.  You make choices for them, not for who is watching.

You get to know their families.  You help their parents and guardians know how to help them learn more at home.  You allow their family input on ways to help the student in the classroom.  You make it a team effort and don’t try to do it all on your own.

You look for help from the teachers around you.  You are not afraid to try new things in your classroom.  You look around and see what is working and not working and then seek out strategies from others for whom things are definitely workings.  You are not afraid to change.

You are also not afraid to reflect.  You take a look at students and what they seem to be learning and not learning, and then you make adjustments in you and how you are teaching.  You look at data.  You are not afraid of data.  You let data help you make instructional choices because it gives you a view of what your students need.

You are one of the great ones, Teacher!  You do not stand outside the fire.  You are in the thick of it.  You are dancing around with the flames jumping all around you, and you love every minute of it!  You are a hero.  You are a teacher.  Your students need you!

You are awesome and amazing.  Your “fire dance” is making a difference.  You are making a difference.  Keep on teaching and keep on running into the fire, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS …The poster/graphic this morning is one of a line of printable posters that I created and made available on the TeachersPayTeachers Store. They will be called “Motivational ABCs.”

Posted in Best of Dear Teacher/Love Teacher, Theme Song, You Are Awesome!!!

The Best of the Weekly Theme Songs


(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use this picture if you link back to my blog.)
(c)DearTeacherLT2013 (You may use this picture if you link back to my blog.)

Dear Teacher,

For me, this is the last full week before teachers go back to school for the new year.  I have so much planning and other things that I want to get done!  I think I am going to have to chill it with the blog for this week.  So…this week will be the “Best of Dear Teacher/Love Teacher.”  I am going to post links to several posts from the last three months, and then I am going to give you a challenge.  I want you to pick your favorite, share why it is your favorite, and then share it everywhere that you can (Edmodo, Facebook, Twitter, etc…).

Today is the best of the weekly theme songs.  Because there have not been that many, I am going to share a link to all of them.  Which is your favorite?

My favorite is Stronger.  That song has been in my head a lot since I found out the results of the State Tests.  I know that I can use the unmet expectations as fuel for next year.  It is driving me to work harder to have things together for my students and to use what I have learned to be more effective in years to come.  I am stronger, and I will continue to get stronger!

Which is your favorite?  Why?  Go out and share the encouragement!

You are awesome!  You are amazing!  This year will be the best one yet, I just know it!  Keep on teaching and keep on getting stronger, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

PS…I have an idea.  I want to compile stories about teachers who have made a difference in peoples’ lives.  It can be a story or a “Dear Teacher ___________” thank you letter.  I want to share them on here and maybe in a couple of other ways (possibly a book).  If you are interested, email dearteacher@outlook.com and put “Teacher Story” or “Teacher Thank You Letter” in the subject.  Thanks.  I am excited about this project!