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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Teacher Appreciation

Posted by on in General

Thank-You-Teachers-But.jpg

I have been out of the classroom – let me start over – I have not been a classroom teacher for over ten years. Technically speaking, as an elementary school assistant principal, I am in and out of classrooms every day. But … there is a huge difference between being in a classroom and running a classroom. Trust me, the increasing degree of difficulty of the latter is not lost on this veteran administrator.

This is why I want to take this time to thank you. And while I couldn’t possibly list all the reasons that I am grateful for what you do, I would like to highlight three that continuously amaze me.

1. We all need to see the doctor, dentist, or chiropractor from time to time—either when we are not feeling well or for wellness check ups for ourselves and our family members. I know that getting and making appointments can be difficult. Some waiting lists are months long. I am also aware of fact that health professionals see patients in the middle of the day.

Yet, you still make dentist appointments at 7 AM so you can get to school before your students arrive. You still take the latest prenatal check ups your doctor has available because your students have a test the next day and there is no way a sub could get them ready to add fractions with unlike denominators. And you still schedule appointments on your days off instead of on days in which school is in session because you want to be there for your students and your colleagues.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

School starts again tomorrow after the holiday break. Teachers are thinking about how to make the day special for students, how to welcome them back in a way that helps them feel connected and happy about being back at school. They champion their students, thinking about each one of them and how they might be feeling tomorrow.

What are principals thinking about? Getting through observations? State testing coming up in the spring? Documents to prepare for state mandates? All important things and worthy of time and attention, but not at the sacrifice of leading the adults in the school.

Principals, instead, are you thinking about how to welcome teachers back in a way that helps them feel connected and happy about being back at school? Are you championing the teachers, and thinking about how each one of them might be feeling tomorrow? 

Share how you are a #Champion4Teachers as we welcome teachers and students back from the holiday break.

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Posted by on in General

I know it's hard...

Being a teacher is probably one of the most demanding jobs that exists in terms of the commitment, passion, and dedication that it requires. In some jobs, you put your time in, go home and relax, and forget about the challenges of the day, that customer that complained, that client who was unhappy, or possibly that project you're working on in the office.

Teaching is different. As a teacher, you invest so much in your students emotionally, financially, and professionally, that its hard to let go just because a bell rings at the end of the day. Whether its a student who told you about their troubled home life, didn't grasp a concept, or got embarrassedin front of their friends...those moments stick with you.

There is absolutely NOTHING that is going to change this aspect of our job. If you aren't invested in your students, you're probably doing it wrong.

However, if you are constantly focused on your job as an educator it can start to wear on you. It can even start to negatively impact your personal life, your relationships, and yes...as weird as it sounds...your performance as a teacher. Being too consumed by your job can actually hurt your ability to perform that job to the best of your ability.

If this sounds like you, don't worry! There are some things you can control to make it easier on yourself. Many teachers I talk with are always worried about planning, grading, that meeting they have the next day, or that observation they have coming up (which by the way you shouldn't stress out about...seriously)

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Posted by on in General

see it

I have had a week of driving, of not sleeping enough, of wearing myself a little thin.  When you work for a school board that is roughly the size of Albania, you go through a lot of coffee.  It's been an exhausting week but it's also been exhilarating.  This week I got to be a fly on the wall in some amazing classrooms.  It's an incredible feeling to be in the zone as a teacher, to get that feeling of flow as you work with students whose attention is engaged and whose energy is focused on a common goal.  It's an equally amazing thing to watch someone else do it.  

This week, while supporting a teacher, I got to see exactly that.  This teacher was everywhere.  She was both exquisitely focused on the students she was working with while at the same time being totally aware of those on the margins who were trying to get her attention.  Her whole body was engaged; she was up, she was down, she was moving in and out of the group.  Her face was expressive and her body language was electric.  At one point, she had to remove a xylophone and mallet from a child who, after several reminders, continued to be disruptive.  Without ever letting on that she was monitoring him, she noticed exactly the moment when he had calmed himself and immediately gave the xylophone back.  If standing up and clapping wouldn't have completely ruined her lesson, I would have done it, I had to fight off the urge.  She was that good.  

On top of her amazing skills, the best part for me was that she clearly loved kids.  She found them engaging and funny, she was happy to see them, and she noticed their strengths first.  I left the school that day in awe and feeling refreshed, reminded once again about the importance of the work that we do and how critical it is that we do it well.  That magic interplay of personal disposition and teaching skills is like lightning in a bottle; you never know where it's going to strike and packaging it is a fool's errand... but... you'll know it when you see it. 

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Posted by on in School Culture

"Gratitude is one of the most important human virtues and one of the most common human deficiencies. Gratitude does not develop without effort." - Dieter Uchtdorf

 How often do we cherish the moment?

Do we tell people how much they mean to us? Throughout my school career I enjoyed several caring and wonderful teachers. I also had my fair share of teachers that I simply didn't connect with. Looking back one teacher made an impact with me as a student & teacher. As a fifth grade student I was placed in the room of Mrs. Janice Wetters. I had several friends in the room and at that time fifth grade was part of the Middle School.

It was a Whole New World.

When I think back to my fifth grade year several memories pop into my head. It was the first time in my life I held a girl's hand! I learned how to divide triple-digit numbers. I really got excited about science, and I found a true appreciation for consistency. As I look back what I remember the most about fifth grade is that Mrs. Wetters was predictable, consistent and reliable. I never remember her missing a day of school. I always knew that she would treat everyone the same, and each school day was filled with routine and procedure. In the moment I likely thought fifth grade was boring, but thinking back I appreciate what my teacher put in place.

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