Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘teacher appreciation’

“I Salute Those Who Stay!” Appreciating Teachers!

This is not to take away anything from those who quit.

You have quit for only reasons you know, or have shared with thousands of viewers  on YouTube, in articles, or on talk shows.


Appreciating Teachers!: My Top 10!

Chocolate, gift certificates, and lunch are great! I really do appreciate all the thanks I have received during the week.

But I’d like to  share some tips on what would REALLY make me feel appreciated!

This goes out to anyone who interacts with teachers,in no particular order:READ MORE

“If Teachers Were Treated Like Celebrities!” 2012 Version

Can you imagine what it would be like if teachers were treated like actors, athletes, singers, or even “reality tv “stars?”  Wow!

Mrs.Smith, Celebrity Teacher

“Mrs.Smith, Mrs.Smith, can I get your autograph?” She turned and smiled brightly at the young woman running towards her.

“Mrs.Smith”, the young woman gasped, “I have been following your career for years!  I’m about to start teaching myself, and I would be honored if you signed my copy of your book.”

“Are you ready to teach, young lady?’ she asked as she scribbled her signature, “This is a difficult job.”

“I know it is, but I’ve been reading your books,watching your videos, and  listening to your podcasts, I know I’m ready!”

“Good luck”, she says as she handed her the book. “Take care, you have quite a journey ahead of you.”

Mrs.Smith and her husband  entered the Four Seasons and were immediately seated at the best table. The maitre d’ smiled, and thanked Mrs.Smith, again, for teaching his son when she taught at Tower Hill.

“Anything you need Mr. and Mrs.Smith, just ask.”

After dinner, Mr. and Mrs.Smith hopped into their  Mercedes and drove home to their ten bedroom house up in the hills.  They entered  their  home, and stopped to pick  up one of the cameras left by the crew from MTV Cribs-Teachers.

“Time to mark some papers honey, I’ll be upstairs in a bit.”

She sat down, stared out at the ocean, and began grading.  The phone rang, and her assistant teacher, Marjorie spoke excitedly.

” Mrs. Smith,  Oprah wants another  interview, she’s doing another special on teachers, it’s called “Teachers are Tenacious!” She’s going to give away prizes to every school where the teachers in the audience work!”

“Oh, that Oprah, she is something else! Set it up please, Marjorie.”

She hung up and the phone rung again.

“Oh, my gosh, Mrs.Smith, you’ve  been nominated for a Thackeray!” (Named after Sidney Poitier’s character in , “To Sir, With Love”)

“A Thackeray?! Are you kidding? Oh my gosh, I’ve always dreamed…!  What category?”

” Best Lesson Taught During an Unannounced Observation.”

The Thackerays

As teachers walked down the red carpet, former students and teachers screamed their names. Reporters rushed up to interview each teacher as they strode down the carpet.

“Mrs.Smith, what are you wearing?”

She  waved, “This is not about me, it’s about all those kids I’ve helped!”

And the Winner Is…

And the winner of the “Best Lesson Taught During an Unannounced Observation” is… Mrs.Smith!”

She ran on the stage, “First I’d like to thank God.” Next I want to thank all those students who gave me the opportunity to teach. I’d also like to thank my mentor teacher, Mr.Wilson. He made me the teacher I am today! And most of all, my Mom and Dad, who gave me the chance to go to college and become what I am today, a teacher!”

The applause filled the room, and everyone stood, chanting “Teachers, teachers, teachers!”

 I know we all don’t need a Mercedes, a ten-bedroom home, to be filmed by MTV, or have an overrated awards show.  But wouldn’t it be great if teachers were  respected as much as actors, athletes, singers, and yes, even “reality” tv stars?


Teacher Appreciation:From the Mouths of Babes!

Some of my students wrote  a letter for the state department’s Teacher Appreciation Day contest. After reading the letters, it gave me some insight as to what my students appreciate about me. I chose to use the letters as an informal evaluation  tool to see what I am doing right,(or wrong). I found some of the responses quite amusing.:)

  • I bustle (Vocabulary word) around on Twitter looking for people to Skype with.
  • I am a cool teacher, even with my corny jokes.
  • Even if one of the students make me angry, I don’t show my bad emotions out loud.
  • I am the best motivator ever!
  • I am nice, because if I won the Mega Millions, I would give every student a million dollars. (I did promise that-LOL)
  • I always have a smile when I walk in, and it means to have a great day.
  • If someone gets an answer wrong, I don’t pout.
  • When they have a question, I always have an answer. (Hmmm…I think it just seems that way.:)
  • I’m overprotective. (Yeah, those are MY babies, don’t mess with them!)
  • I am very fun.
  • I help with 5th grade drama. (This particular student added, “I’m not a part of it, but she always has great solutions.”)
  • I care for them all the time.
  • I am super cool. 🙂 
  • My effort shows to them.
  • I make hard things easy, and easy things awesome!
  • I don’t keep them outside when it drizzles, because I don’t want them to get sick. (Also, because I don’t want to get my hair wet!)
  • I have a lot of cool websites.
  • I taught them to never give up on themselves and never be scared to ask a question.
  • I always repeat myself so that they can understand. (I thought it was because they weren’t listening to me. 🙂 
  • I have “rocking” teacher skills! Woo hoo! (I added the “Woo,hoo”part)
  • I love all my students. (I really do)
  • And most of all, I take my job seriously.

Feeling Burned Out? Read This and Be Rejuvenated!:)

This morning I walked into my classroom feeling exhausted. Done!  After days of standardized testing, my mind was fried!  At this point of the year, (forgetting that I still have a mortgage), I wonder if I can keep doing this.  I have taught for 26 years and everything’s changed, the parents, kids, my workload, the list is endless.

But then I get a reminder of why I teach. This is my third one this year, so it must be a sign.:) Don’t give up! It was in my Inbox this morning.: 

This is Kara S.,

You taught both me, and my brother collin way back in 2005/2003

Im on a mission to hunt down all the teacher in my life that have made a big impact on me

Im so glad i found you, and thank you so much for teaching me!

there are certain teachers in life that are hard to forget, and id like to let you know that your job is important.

Ill be going to college next year and its all because of the wonderful people who helped me get here

Thanks for every thing!:D


I’ll be back next year.

We DO Make a Difference!(No Matter What You’ve Heard)

Just before Spring Break,  I asked my 5th graders if any of them wanted to enter the contest, “Why My Teacher is Great!”.  Only two students completed the letter.  One was an Honor Roll student and the other was a girl I had trouble with from Day 1!  I have to say, within the last two months, she has been a different child. I want to share her letter.

My teacher is great because she keeps us on track about getting into 6th grade. She never lets us say we can’t do it.  She only tells us we can do it.  Whenever we get mad, she always knows what to say.  She is the best teacher in the whole wide world.  She is great, whatever she does. When it comes to tests, she always makes us feel better about the test. She knows how to say no. She seldom yells at us students she always talks to us in a nice tone of voice.  Whenever we need help, she will try not to give us the answer, but try to help us out with it. She always tells us, “I can’t help you, unless you help yourself.” And now we help ourselves, as well as she helps us. My teacher is the best of the best. She keeps us in order like four by four.

There are some rules as well. 1st rule is treat others the way you wanted to be treated.  2nd, be a leader not a follower.  And 3rd, always use kind words. She also says, “Your actions, your responsibility.” And we always listen to those words.

 She always knows what to say when we are having problems with a student. My teacher is a great influence to kids. I really look up to her. And one day I am going to be just like her. And she also told me, “Never settle for less than your best”, and I will always keep that in my heart. I will tell my students that when I become a teacher. Oh there’s another saying by my great and fabulous teacher. She says, “Choose not to fail!”   She says that almost every day.

My teacher is my hero. (At this point I was crying)

Teachers, don’t give up! Don’t let the teacher-bashing discourage you! Even when we think they don’t care, they do! We DO Make a Difference!

Shouldn’t An Educator’s Opinion Count?

Because I was on Spring Break, my son and I took a trip to New York City, to visit family and friends. One of my stops was the school I taught at for 15 years before moving to Delaware. There were about 8 teachers still there from the time I taught. I was  disappointed, not in the teachers, they were still doing their job.   I have been gone since 1998, and the classrooms still looked the same.  Unless I missed it, I didn’t see a Smartboard, an Elmo, a projector, or any  of the basic tech tools.  They have  a tech person, but only two laptop carts per floor, and this is a huge school. I was wondering why , in a city based in New York City, there weren’t signs of  21st century classrooms all over the building. Where is the money going?   Who is in charge? 

As I perused my email from my  LinkedIn Technology Integration Education group  this morning,  I came across an article,  “NY Parents Seek 100 Million From Bloomberg Over Schools”  Apparently the mayor nominated his friend, Cathie Black, who had no credentials or experience, to be the school chancellor, she quit after 95 days on the job. Guess it wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be.  My question was answered.

Should I dare ask another question, “Why would you choose a person without an education background to run an entire city’s educational system?” I know why.  The new mantra is to” run education like a business”!  The other push is charter schools, where magic happens, and all children learn!  Imagine the possibilities for schools in NY, or Anywhere, USA where educators’ opinions were not only valued, but used! It gives me shivers just thinking about it!:)   Teachers and administrators who work in the field should know best, but our opinions are the least valued. Who would you turn to if you needed a medical question answered, your plumber? It’s ridiculous!

But this explains why, in a city as advanced as New York, you have schools with chalkboards, no air conditioning, and two laptop carts per floor. I can say this though, those teachers are working with what they have to educate their students, but wouldn’t it be great if they were given the tools they needed? Wouldn’t it be a sign of how valuable you believe education is if you put someone in charge who knew how to meet these needs?

May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week. You know what would really make us feel appreciated? Listen to us, believe it or not, we know what we’re talking about! Our opinions and expertise should matter!

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