Sunday, August 30, 2015

Back 2 School: What It Means To Me

Tomorrow is back to school for teachers in Chesapeake and some of the surrounding areas.  I have to tell you, I'm kinda excited.  Not about the meetings and the pressures and all the other stuff...but, I'm excited about the new year.

We see and say BACK 2 SCHOOL a thousand times between July and September.
We buy BACK 2 SCHOOL supplies.
We buy a BACK 2 SCHOOL outfit.
We get the BACK 2 SCHOOL newsletter.
Students get a BACK 2 SCHOOL letter with their teacher.
We create BACK 2 SCHOOL handouts.
We have BACK 2 SCHOOL Night.
Welcome BACK 2 SCHOOL.
Here's my take on BACK 2 SCHOOL, so those words can be your BACK 2 SCHOOL mantra.

Back 2 School is a great time!  What does it mean to you?  I share my thoughts on what it means to me.

Be Positive.  

I could be the only positive part of a child's day (or another teacher's, for that matter.)  I need to look at the good things first!

Accept Differences.

Not everyone is at the same place at the same time...accept them for where they are.  But son't make excuses for them...help them make strides toward the goal.

Create a Place of Calm

This is hard for me.  I need to be a place of calm.  I need to look at all angles and circumstances before I react wildly.  

(Kill them with) Kindness.

This does work.  Giving someone kindness who doesn't necessarily deserve it can diffuse a situation...or at the very least, throw them off their game a bit.  (hehe)

Back 2 School is a great time!  What does it mean to you?  I share my thoughts on what it means to me.

2 Heads are Better Than One.

Find a colleague that can be on your side, through thick and thin.  Someone who can listen help you problem-solve and create.  Someone who can listen.  

Back 2 School is a great time!  What does it mean to you?  I share my thoughts on what it means to me.

School Spirit

Get ready to show your school spirit.  Let students know you are proud of your school and proud to be a part of your school.

Collaborate

The best way to find a great answer for all school questions is to work together!  Together big problems can be solved.

Help those that don't want my help!

I have learned the people that scream the most about NOT wanting help...are the ones needing the most help.  I have to find a way to offer help without making it feel like I'm helping.  

Only About THEM!

So much to do:  read, curriculum, write, data, interventions, data, read, write, data...but none of that counts as much as the THEY do.  We have to make sure it's about the kids.  The curriculum and data mean nothing, if the students are at the forefront of everything we do.

Outside of School

It can't be all about the job.  There needs to be a balance.  My husband and I are first-time empty-nesters.  We're excited about that.  I need to make a priority to be present outside of school, not just inside of school.

LOVE what I do.

You've heard the saying, do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.  Well, I can argue that one.  Being a teacher and teaching children is definitely work, but it's a work of the heart.  I will say it's a passion for me, not a profession.


Back 2 School is a great time!  What does it mean to you?  I share my thoughts on what it means to me.

Every time we hear BACK TO SCHOOL, think of what it can really mean. Good Luck and Have Fun this year!  

Here's a Back to School FREEBIE!  Enjoy!



Thursday, August 20, 2015

5 Things Students Want Their Teachers to Know

I've done several posts like this over the course of the summer.  I think is something near and dear to my heart.  I'm going to steal from one of my all time favorite books:  One Duck Stuck.
Let's hear from the students. They really would like to tell you things...they just don't know how to say it. Be the teacher you were meant to be and listen to them. It will make you a better teacher.
As we start a new school year, please don't get "stuck in the muck" of the stuff "required" of you and "forced" on you and distracting you from the real goal:  Students.  Here are a few of their voices.
Let's hear from the students. They really would like to tell you things...they just don't know how to say it. Be the teacher you were meant to be and listen to them. It will make you a better teacher.
I want you to be proud of me.  I want to hear you brag about me in the hallway and to my mom when she picks me up.  I want to be the one that makes you smile.  I really do.  I might not be that good at showing you.  Sometimes I'll even forget that getting negative attention isn't the same as getting positive attention.  I just wanted attention.  It makes me sad when you point to me and frown when we're walking in the hallway and another teacher passes by.  I was trying.  BUT, I really want to make you proud.
Let's hear from the students. They really would like to tell you things...they just don't know how to say it. Be the teacher you were meant to be and listen to them. It will make you a better teacher.
I know you had my sibling or heard all about them from the teacher next door.  Whether or not they were perfect or rotten, I'm not them.  I might be living in the same house and might even wear their old clothes, but I'm not them.  I am my own person with my own uniqueness.  I just want you to like me because I'm me...not because you liked my brother or didn't like my sister.  I won't act the exact same...because I'm me.  Give me a chance and I'll let you know me.
Let's hear from the students. They really would like to tell you things...they just don't know how to say it. Be the teacher you were meant to be and listen to them. It will make you a better teacher.
I want to follow the rules.  The last thing I wanted when I woke up this morning was to "move my owl" or "change my color" or get the dreaded note home.  I want to do what you want.  I just have to make sure I know what you want.  Can you make sure I know?  You might have to remind me. You might have to remind me a lot.  Sometimes the work is hard and it makes me concentrate on that...and I can't concentrate on other things.  So, can you remind me what you want?  I'll give it to you.
Let's hear from the students. They really would like to tell you things...they just don't know how to say it. Be the teacher you were meant to be and listen to them. It will make you a better teacher.
I know I have homework each night.  I also know I'm supposed to read every night.  I even want to practice my word wall words...but mom said I had to go to my sister's dance class.  We forgot to bring my book.  I know you'll be sad when I don't have my homework, and I might get in trouble, but I had baseball last night and I'm really good at baseball.  I don't even have to work really hard.  It's not like reading.  It's so hard...and sometimes I'm convinced I won't ever do it well, but on Tuesdays I get to do baseball really well.  The bad thing is we get home late.  By the time we eat and take a bath, it's too late for homework.  I couldn't help it.  I have to do what my mom says.
Let's hear from the students. They really would like to tell you things...they just don't know how to say it. Be the teacher you were meant to be and listen to them. It will make you a better teacher.
I wasn't sure if I could do this "first grade" thing.  It's hard and I have to work really hard.  I didn't think I was smart...but you told me I was and it surprised me.  When we were in a group at your table last week and I remembered to look at the beginning and end of the word...you told me I was smart.  I didn't know that.  No one has ever told me I was smart.  I think when you ask me to read again...I'll pay close attention to the beginning and the end so you can tell me again how smart I am.  Because if you tell me I am, maybe I am.