Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Take Care of Yourself, You Are Awesome!!!

The Reset Button


Dear Teacher,

I hope that you are finally on break now.  If not, I hope today is your last day!  You need it!  You deserve a little break.

Today’s message is going to start a little differently than most.  I want to reflect a little on my childhood.  Keep reading, though.  There is a point that brings it all back to teaching.  🙂

I grew up in the golden age of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).  It was the most wonderful thing in the world to me.  You could have adventures, solve mysteries, and just have tons of fun.  It was great!

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Well…it was great for a while.

After a few years, it started to run a little slower.  Before too long, it started having trouble starting the games.  This happened to almost everyone I knew.  We had to blow into the games.  We had to find creative ways to slide the games in.  We had to hope against hope every time we pressed the power button.

Near the end of the life of the NES, you got to know the reset button very, very well.

Each time the game messed up, we pressed reset.

When the game froze up, we pressed reset.

Oh, and there is also the we-did-not-do-so-well-in-the-game times, and we pressed reset.

Reset.  Reset.  Reset.  It was the stand-by that we always went to.

Well, Teacher, you are more than a game system, but you, too get worn down.  You are tired.  You are mentally exhausted.  You are emotionally worn out.

Sometimes, the game messes up on you.  Sometime teaching “freezes” up on you.  Sometimes you are not just doing very well.  These are especially true this time of year and most definitely this year…it has been a rough one for almost every teacher I have talked to.

You need what we relied on with the NES…you need a reset.

Winter break is our reset button built into the year.

I really do think that is the main reason that we need it.  We all need a reset here at the almost school year half-time.

We need a break.  We need a refresh.  We need the hope of a fresh start in the year.

That is what you need.  Don’t forget it.

The holidays are great!  Take the time to reconnect with friends and family.  Do all of the fun, holiday things.  That is all a part of it.  Just do me a favor and don’t forget about you.

Take some down time.

Do something you love doing.

TAKE A BREAK!

Just be.

Refresh teacher.

Hit that reset button…what ever that looks like for you.

Teacher, I hope you have a tremendous break and happy holidays!  Just remember that you need to recharge.  Don’t forget to reset.

You are awesome!  I know that you will take some time for you.  You are doing a great job this year, even if it does not always feel that way.  You really are making a difference!  Reset and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in General Inspiration, Note to Teachers, Pep Talk, Theme Song

[Teachers, We Need to Be] Good Monsters


Dear Teacher,

How is the week going for you?  I know it is early, but it has already been a tough one for me.  However, a rough week already bearing its head and it is only Tuesday seems to be par for the course this year.  Like a most of the other teachers I know and talk to, this has been a difficult year so far.  Not all bad, just super challenging.

Thinking today and about the message that I need to hear (most of the time I write to you as a way to talk to myself…I am a teacher like you, after all 🙂 ), an idea and analogy for my role as a teacher at a Title I school that I have had for the past several years came back to mind.  It is the concept of who I am and need to be sometimes.  This analogy came to me from a song…so I am thinking that I need to make this a theme song post to share about this.

Click play and read on.  Oh, please ignore the cheesy-ness of the video.  It is an older song that you may have never heard before, but give it a listen while you read.  I so hope this all makes sense…this is an analogy and song that I cling to on the hardest of days.

We have a difficult job.  There is so much to do.  So much that we are expected to get done.  Sometimes it seems too much.  Some days (most days) we strive to get by and just keep our heads above the water.

We get to school, look around, and try to sort through all of the “to do’s” to get “to done.”  We let some plates drop while we focus on others, and we look for the light at the end of the tunnel while we trudge through the darkness of the day to day.

It is overwhelming.

It can be too much.

But sometimes we forget two vital things: who we are and the reason that we are here.

You are a teacher, Teacher!  You have made it through teacher training.  You have been through student teaching.  You have passed state exams.  You have made it through evaluations.  And you have survived tough years of teaching before.

You find a way to juggle “real life” and school.  You balance your time, schedule, and money.  You find a way to get things done no matter what.  You are do so much and you are capable of so much more.

Teacher, you are a monster.

You do the impossible every day.  You do a job that most people don’t have the heart or guts to do.  You are fierce.  You are strong.  You are awesome!

You can be scary, sometimes, but only when you have to be.  You are a monster of the best variety.

Don’t let the chains of the system hold you back.  I know it is hard.  The chains are binding.  But you can break them.  You can find a way to be the monster that you need to be.

Why do you need to be a monster?

That is the other side of this…the other thing that we forget when we are enslaved to the extras that come with our job.

There is a village that has bad monsters tormenting it.  There are villagers that need our help.  They need the monsters that we can be to defeat the monsters that should not be.

Our students need us.  We often forget the monsters that torment their lives.

These monsters are different for different students, but they are still there.  The common monsters that are against them are apathy, laziness, and a want to take the easy road.  Sometimes the education system itself can be a common monster.  There are probably a lot of others, too, but I think you get what I mean.

Not only are there the universal monsters, but there are other, very menacing monsters that stalk many of our students, too.  I won’t go into details, but we often do not know what our students face when they leave our school…not to mention some of the monsters at the school (bullying, peer pressure, etc…).

There is a world of monsters trying to pillage and plunder the lives of our students.

One of our main jobs is to be the last line of defense.  Sometimes it takes monsters to beat monsters.

You, Teacher, are one of those monsters…you are a good monster.

So, Monster, open your eyes today.  Break those chains that are holding you back.  Give up some of the battles that don’t matter and go save a village!

I know that it is hard sometimes to know where to fight, but make your focus the students and the monsters that are eating them alive today.  Help them fight.  You might be their only hope.

I really hope this made sense!

You are so awesome!  I know that you are a monster of the best kind and that you battle well against what plagues your students.  Fight on and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

Posted in General Inspiration, Hope for Teachers, Note to Teachers, Thank You!, You Are Awesome!!!

From one teacher to another…


Dear Teacher,

You are awesome.  I know that I say this a lot, but that does not make it any less true.  I say you are awesome because you are awesome.  You need to hear it more often than you do, so I will keep saying it.

So.  You are awesome, 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)

One of the reasons that you are awesome is because of the difference you make for others.  You change lives.  You make things better.  You put yourself on the line for the sake and betterment of those around you.

I am not talking about students this time.  I am not talking about their families.  I am not even talking about the community or society at large.

No, I am talking about us.  The teachers.  Those you work with.  Those that you meet.  Those that just hear about you.

You make a difference for other teachers.

You know what we do.  We watch each other.  We look and see what other teachers are doing, saying, and how they are acting and reacting.  The good and the bad, we watch to see it all.  We make choices based on what we see.  We change what we do based on what we observe.

You know the old saying, “Great teachers beg, borrow, and steal.”  Or something like that.  We all do it, in some way, shape, or form.  We look around to see what the other teachers are doing and make adjustments in ourselves.

From one teacher to another, thank you for being a teacher worth watching and modeling after!

I saw you, you made a note about something for your class based on what you saw or did on vacation.  Thank you!

You bought some supplies with money from your own pocket because your students needed it and it was on sale.  Thanks!

You went to a seminar and/or workshop while on summer break.  Thank you so much!

You made time for planning even though you are not “on the clock.”  Thanks, again!

You kept your teacher brain on even though school is not in session.  I needed to see that.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You do a thousand little things day by day, in school and out of school, all of the time that we all see.  These things make you a great teacher, and they are making all of us better teachers.

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

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  You are awesome, Teacher.  Education is better because of you!  Keep on doing what you do and keep on teaching!

Love, Teacher

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.

Posted in Note from Student, Picture Note, You Are Awesome!!!

The Thank You Note You May Never Get


Dear Teacher,

Your students love you and know that you care.  They think you are awesome, but sometimes they just don’t have the words or know-how to let you know.  So, because of that, I wrote the note that they feel about you but may never write.  They notice all that you do.  One day they will look back and see you as one of the main influences in their lives.  You may never get this card, but it is very true!  Please read and let it be from the students you have struggled with the most to reach, connect, and help them reach some of their potential.  Let this be their words to you.

You are awesome!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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

For more hope and encouragement: @DearTeacherLT (Twitter) and Dear Teacher/Love Teacher Facebook Page.