Friday, July 18, 2014

Making a Difference-Our Students are Counting on Us

As summer winds down, and I begin my 29th year in the education profession, it is time for me to reflect and think about the upcoming year, and the students I will have the privilege of teaching. Yes, as the beginning of the school year gets closer, I always find it hard to sleep at night as my mind is racing with anticipation and excitement for the upcoming year.

All my previous posts have been about my 1:1 classroom, and the amazing students and colleagues I have the honor of working with and teaching.  A recent personal experience made me think more about the students who count on me on a daily basis. Definitely an "Aha" moment as I reflect on how I handled it. What do we as teachers truly want our students to learn and carry with them throughout their life in addition to the curriculum?
Find Greatness in each Student you Teach

Edmunds Lee

I was recently invited to be on +Vicki Davis's, Every Classroom Matters, which is featured on BAM Radio.  Being in shock and disbelief, my first thought was, "Why me?"  "I think she made a mistake!" "There are so many outstanding educators in the world, and I am just a third grade teacher."  I realize we all have days when we feel like this, and we just keep moving forward.   
Believe More in Yourself and Your Own Abilities  

+Angela Maiers an inspirational teacher, author, and speaker sums it up perfectly!
A powerful video that I plan to share with my students - You Matter!

The day of the interview came, and I was nervous.  Vicki is an inspiration to the education profession, and she is a great educator to follow on Twitter, @coolcatteacher,   I was unsure of myself, which annoyed me even more, because the topic is one that I am extremely passionate about. Vicki is a person who truly cares about others, and how teachers make a difference in their students' lives each day. She made me feel like what I had to say was of utmost importance, and that I truly matter. Through my stammers, pauses, and losing my train of thought, Vicki was constantly encouraging.  This is something as teachers we need to remember and strive for when we work with our students, and they may be feeling insecure or unsure of themselves.  A simple smile and supportive words of encouragement make all the difference in the world.

Take Chances

Author Unknown

Yes, after the interview, I obsessed for days about what I said, what I should of said, and what I didn't say; which I am sure sounds crazy to a lot of people.  I replayed our conversation over and over in my head.  "I think I forgot to mention our awesome tech coaches." "Did I thank +Ann Feldmann+Brent Catlett+Jennifer Krzystowczyk for all they have done to help support and encourage me?" "I didn't share how our students are the best teachers."  "I didn't explain that app clearly." I do realize that others truly don't care about any of this, but I certainly do. I don't like to let others down and disappoint them or myself.  It was my personal perception, as Vicki was sincerely complimentary at the end of our taping.  It also made me wonder how many of our students feel like this in our classrooms. Something to be mindful of as the new year begins.  As educators, what we may feel or view as unimportant in our students' lives, may be of utmost importance to them.   

Truly Listen to What Your Students Have to Say

Unknown Author

Just another thought I had that made me think of my students.  If I had the chance to do the radio show over again with Vicki, would I? The answer is an absolute "yes".  Would I articulate my thoughts differently, another "yes".  Our thoughts are no different than our students at times.  How many of our students would like a second chance on an assignment, test, or to make changes on a project they created?   

Sometimes second chances help foster a 
deeper level of learning and understanding.

Thomas Edison

The quotes sum it up perfectly! My hope is that I continue to model these on a daily basis and help foster each student's belief in him/herself.

Let it Go - Give up Perfectionism

Be True to You - Don't Second Guess Yourself

Unknown Author

Focus on the Positive - Stop Being Your Own Worst Critic

Celebrate Differences - Don't Compare Yourself to Others


 Be Kind to Yourself
Stop worrying about what others think or say about you.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt

It is truly amazing how others perceive us, and how we truly perceive ourselves. A fact that is hard to take at times is that not everyone will like you. +Vicki Davis recently wrote a wonderful post and has great advice about What to do When Someone Hates You.

Laugh More and Enjoy the Moment  
We need to celebrate each other more and criticize less!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's all About our Relationship with our Students
Teacher friends, if you need more inspiration definitely a video worth watching! 
Educator Rita Pierson 
Every Kid Needs a Champion

Never underestimate the students you teach, 
they are capable of more than you can ever imagine!

Lady Bird Johnson

As the new school year begins,
 I look forward to learning side by side with my fourth graders.
Yes, our students are the Best Teacher!

As Ferris Bueller Stated
Helping each student develop a love and passion for learning is what teaching is all about.

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful school year! 
Our students are counting on us!