Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Gift of a Teacher

Merry Christmas sweet friends. I hope you are enjoying your holiday and are finding time to see the blessings that are all around us. I am blessed by the gift God gave us in His son because without the manger there would be no cross.

Last week as I was gathering the goodies for my gift to my kiddos I realized that what I really wanted to give them was not something I could wrap or buy. One of the gifts that would make a difference would be to give them the best teacher that I could be. Yes, I hope they remember the fun activities we do but I would rather them remember how I made them feel.

I want to give them a teacher who has A Heart of Patience because we all have so many things going on that make life stressful. I want my words to help them when things are going wrong and I want to lift them up with encouraging words that make them strong.

I want them to find magic in the books of a book and show them small miracles that others overlook. I want to remember that when I look at them I behold the future...even when that scares me!

Seeing our kiddos as the future seems to get more difficult and difficult each year because teaching becomes more and more stressful and the dynamics of our classrooms keeps changing...and not always as we see for the best. I want to give my kiddos the gift of taking these difficult and stressful situations as opportunities to help them become kind and caring individuals.

I want to give them a teacher that sees them with Eyes of the Heart. Eyes that see the good and eyes that see past the facade and the behaviors. Eyes that see everyone with love because God loved me first and I am a sinner that is not perfect too.

I want to give them the teacher in the mirror that is enough because we often forget that teacher when we become discouraged by all of the obstacles in our way. I want to remember I am teaching a child and not just a curriculum. I want to see my kiddos with growth glasses that see achievements both big and small that data on a paper does not show.

I want to give them the gift of giggles because our days need to be full of joy. The smiles and laughter of our kiddos will be remembered in our hearts long after memories of benchmark tests fade from our brains.

I want to give them the gift of a classroom that is a special place because when they walked into my classroom they walked into my heart.

I want to give them the gift of a childhood as much as I can in the 7 precious hours I have them at school.

To you, I want to give you the gift of knowing that Because of You a difference is being made.

As you celebrate Christmas and the holidays, know that you are giving your children something precious and are giving them the gift of a teacher.

From My Heart to Yours,

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Teacher in the Mirror

WOW! It has been forever since I wrote a blog post. I have thought of so many things I wanted to share with you but just can't get it together to share them. I find myself wondering how is December almost over??!!?? Where is this year going????

This is my 15th year of teaching...and I have been in 1st the whole time. Considering that piece of info, I wonder how in the world can I feel as if I am drowning at least 80% of the time??? Why am I creating and making new activities???? Why do I find myself feeling like a crummy teacher more days than not???

I realize I am teaching in a world that forgets that I am teaching a young child. I follow a curriculum that seems to expect kiddos to learn a new concept right away. My kiddos don't leave their burdens at the door and my kiddos still need time to explore, play, and laugh...We won't even talk about all they keep heaping on our plates...I do like to sleep and have yet to figure out how to get it all in!!!

I think many teachers of the little ones find us in a world where developmentally appropriate doesn't matter anymore. I realize the reason I might have a HUGE headache when I come home could be because we taught addition for 1 week and the next week we are introducing subtraction. Hmmmm, hello???? Where is time for us to be building neural pathways and the time for practice and reteaching???

When someone looks at your score and sees kiddos below benchmark, they may not see and understand that one of those kiddos knew 0 letters when the year started or one of those kiddos has a parent in jail or one of them is living in a shelter.

When I have kiddos struggling, I forget to look at these other factors...I just start feeling as if I am not a good enough teacher.

There have been times this year that I looked into the mirror and did not like the teacher and person I saw. It is so easy to look at others, our kiddos, and ourselves with critical eyes. Most of the time I do not see others or myself as God does. When I saw this video, I cried and knew that others needed to see it too. Click on the link to watch. :)

I pray that I remember when I see this teacher in the mirror that I see a teacher that will keep creating new activities because I want my kiddos to be engaged. I pray that I remember that scores are just numbers on a page that do not accurately show the learning that has taken place. I pray that I see the teacher that loves her kiddos and that tries to teach them to be kind to others because that will make a difference in the world. I pray that I see others as an inspiration because teachers are making a difference in countless ways every day.

Remember this when you see the teacher in the mirror....

You are an inspiration to your kiddos. You are making a difference. The teacher in the mirror is a blessing because that teacher in the mirror is YOU!!!

From My Heart to Yours,