Appreciate A Teacher (Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10)

Show your support to a Teacher this week!

It always amazes me (now that I’m a Teacher) how one person can control 20-30 people in one room and not even think twice about walking out. PATIENCE, they say, is a virtue.  But I know that PATIENCE is a work of the HEART!

It takes a lot of PATIENCE and TOUGH LOVE to manage a classroom full of students.  Thinking back to my years as a student, I know that Teachers were respected by the school, parents and students.  I don’t remember if that made it easier or not. But I do know that now, it’s not like that. And it makes it very hard to teach.

Everyday Teachers are trying to teach, but 20-30 students with different personalities, behaviors, attitudes, home lives, influences are in the classroom today without support from the school, parents or students.  Many teachers give up, leave the profession they love, or continue knowing the outcome is bleak.

Every person on this planet has had a Teacher.  Someone who they hated or loved, someone who spoke to them or into them, someone who became a mom/dad or person they admired.  Someone who they grew up to be or wanted to be like, someone who encouraged them or pushed them harder. These Teachers still exist!  They are still in classrooms all over this world. Thank them! They make a difference everyday, in any way they can!

STAND UP FOR EDUCATION

We stand up for what we believe and we believe what we stand up for.

Early Morning

Before the sun comes up, I wake at 4:30am to head to the gym to workout.  I like working out because it’s healthy and it gives me natural adrenaline for the day.  I get home take a shower, put my PJ’s on and have coffee, time with Jesus and social media.

I get lunches ready, take my vitamins, grab a BIGGER coffee mug, my Teacher bag and keys.  Then I’m out the door. I sometimes drop off my grandson at his school before heading to my school.  

At School

I grab all my things: Teacher bag, lunch bag, coffee mug, water bottle, potting soil, sand and cups (science experiment-things I bought) out of the car and head to the door.  I walk in the back door and see all my beautiful kids faces. Some are lying the the floor asleep, some are frowning, one is crying, some are talking and some are smiling.

I realize by their faces I might have a rough day ahead of me.  Because before anyone will listen to my teaching, I have to deal with the emotions, listen to their problems and solve them.  This is a daily challenge.

During Class

I have the students come to the carpet from their seats.  This is a challenge for us because they want to talk to their friends, so I count down from 10 to 1 and they quickly come to the carpet. I have to grab their attention again because some are still talking on the carpet, we sing “When we all get together”.  I start talking about 3D shapes and the differences between 2D and 3D shapes. One student is bothering another student. Some students are talking, so they are sent back to their seats. Some are listening. One is lying down on the carpet. One is screaming, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” So I stop my lesson and take care of each situation before returning to the lesson and continuing on.

Lunch Time

We get lined up (they’re not good with transitions because they like to talk)  and head out the door. We walk to the cafeteria get our food, sit down at the tables and eat quietly for 10 mins.  If we have been quiet for 10 mins, then we can talk to our friends quietly. I eat with my students. I do not get duty free lunch.  I am with my students all day.

After lunch, we clean our tables, line up and head back the to classroom.

Recess

Once back at the classroom, we sit down, practice how to line up for 5 mins , then walk down to the bathrooms outside the office.  We line up and stay quiet while we wait for others to go to the bathroom. I am constantly telling them to be quiet, be still, turn around, hurry up, etc.  Finally, everyone is finished and we walk outside.

The students start to play, then someone comes to tell on someone else, or someone was mean to them, or said a bad word,  or hit them, or someone got hurt, or to tell me there are bugs on the playground.

During Class

Once back into the hallway, we get water and go back to class.  They get their book boxes, put them on the desks and sit on the carpet.  We have a reading lesson. Some are talking and I send them back to their seat.  Some are going to sleep and have to be awaken. Some are tying their shoes, some are using the bathroom and some are listening.  I stop the lesson to take care of each person and continue on with the afternoon activities.

Going home

I pass out homework folders.  The students get their bookbags, put their folders in them, any materials they need for that night and line up at the door.  I walk them to the buses and tell them “I love them and I will see them tomorrow.”

Afterschool

I stay an hour after school because I am tutoring students.  I stay later to make sure I am ready for the next day for my own students. It is 5::30pm.

I teach 1st grade.  I teach all subjects: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Phonics, Social/Emotional Skills, Technology, Recess and Lunch.   I am expected to teach my students to grow 6 reading levels if they leave Kindergarten on grade level (on target). If they are below grade level (not on target), I am expected to grow my students 10 reading levels.  I am observed and evaluated 4 times a year. I have to prove 4 times a year that I am a good Teacher. My Principal or Assistant Principal sits in my classroom and watches me teach. They also watch the students and their behavior and engagement to see what I am doing about it.  I have to make a proficient score or I’m considered not a good Teacher.

I have 20 students in my class.  20 different personalities, 20 different home lives, 20 different behaviors, 20 different learning styles, 20 different emotions, 20 different learning disabilities and not one student the same as the other.  

I love my job.  I am purposed for Teaching.  I am a great Teacher and will continue to be a great Teacher with or without support for Education.  We all had teachers. Someone who believed in us or was hard on us or who taught us something that we finally got or who spoke positive things into us.

We pay more to sports than Teachers, we pay more to TV and Movies than to Teachers, we pay more to most Professional Professions than we do Teachers, YET we ALL had to have a Teacher to teach us in school and we couldn’t/wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

I STAND UP FOR EDUCATION in North Carolina today because I know how important my job is and that the FUTURE of this world relies on ME.  My HOPE is that YOU do, too!


The Journey

I realized this every year about this time, but never fully accept it because of high expectations of myself and my students. I struggle, sweat, push, worry, cry, lose sleep, over-work myself into some crazy person to make sure my students are ready for 2nd grade. 
I saw inside the journey today and was pleased and proud as students read to other students and had a discussion about the Main Idea! When students struggling to read all year, sounded out words and read books they’ve never read before.
What a proud moment! A Teacher, yes! But more than that, their other mother, supporter, cheerleader, pastor, doctor, dentist, psychologist, hair dresser, etc. ME!
Though I may never see their full success. I know that I walked this journey with them and I gave it my all! To my students: I love you and I love being your Teacher!

Growth Mindset (DFIT)

In school, we teach children to change the way they think by changing how they think.  What goes in your mind comes out of your whole being. This concept also works for adults.  If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you cant.

One month ago, I joined DFIT Institute for Transformation as a virtual client.   It is a program where you will learn how to tap into a full body growth mindset that will help you reach your full potential.  You will work with winners who will help you create a new mindset so that you can improve your health, enjoy your body and transform your life.  Demetrius, Andrea and their team have created an environment for dedicated clients (in house and virtual) with a desire to improve their life working with determined coaches who aspire to help others get healthy and fit.  You will learn to transform your body, your business and your life.*

I am now in Phase 2, I am learning a lot about myself physically and mentally.  I know that I am a very strong and determined person, but I’m learning about self-discipline and not to give up so easily.  Change of body and mind take time and better habits form when you are aware of what you are allowing and putting into your mind and body.  DFIT has helped me learn that. I feel more in control of what I do daily for my body and mind. I’m learning to say “NO” to things that aren’t good for me and I am aware of what goes into my body.  It changes my thought process and it also changes my whole being.

I teach children to how to learn and how to treat themselves by creating better habits for their mind.  But as an adult, I need to do this for myself too. As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles or even just humans, we tend to put ourselves last.  We can’t teach better habits if we don’t have any for ourselves and DFIT can help with that.

Change your growth mindset today!  Contact DFIT Institute for Transformation, it will change the way you see yourself forever!          

 

www.dfittransformation.com

 

*Site Page:  dfittransformation.com

 

Worthy

I’ve been on vacation this week and I haven’t been following my regular at home schedule.  So I have missed some of my daily devotions with God.

I had a moment this morning that made me realize that “you don’t have to be perfect to follow God”.  In fact,  God would rather us be broken, torn to pieces, battered, bruised, shaken, scared and a bunch of other not so lovely things, so He gets the glory for saving our behinds.

The story!

My grandson and I were traveling to meet my old high school friend for lunch.  We had to drive over the “Cape Fear River Bridge” that separates Wilmington, NC from Leland, NC and beyond.  This bridge has a grated part in the middle that is lifted when a big boat or barge needs to go under it.  As we are going over the bridge, traffic is heavy for two lanes on each side.  We are beside a tractor trailer at times as well as other vehicles.  As we are all on the last grated part, traffic is stopped because of the traffic light that is ahead.  We all start to slow down expect the tractor trailer who is beside us.  He slams on his brakes, skids to stop, I say, “Lord, help us” and slow down myself.  The tractor trailer comes to a stop, doesn’t fish tale into my lane or hit the person in front of him.  Praise God!  I told my grandson, “Only but God, only but God!” We thanked God all the way to our destination.

I had felt guilty for not including God in my vacation routine.  I was not consistent in indulging in His word like I am at home.  But He is not me!  Thank you, Jesus for being you!  He is always on time!  He is always with us!  He is always protecting us and loving us and providing for us.  There is no way, I mean, no way, my grandson and I and all those other people would have made it out without anything happening without God being there at that moment.

I love the way God loves me, in my mess or no mess.  He loves me so much even when I’m not consistent, not on time, not loving, not perfect!  He loves me and will always, always love me!  If you don’t know God the way I do, you are missing out on a loving, caring Heavenly Father who wants to get to know you!  Talk to Him, He is waiting to talk to you!  He created you and He knows you!  Let Him love you and feel His love for you today!

Advice Through the Decades

I have only lived four actual decades, but I’m starting on my fifth.  When thinking about what got me through each one, I thought I would share them with you.

Decade one:  Believe in who you are!  You have great abilities that you don’t even know about yet.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade two:  It’s okay to be different!  Follow your own path and heart!  You are made for greatness. Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade three:  Life is hard. Sometimes you already know what decision you need to make before you actually make it.  Set goals and go after them no matter who is against you. Always believe in yourself. Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade four:  Dream! Dream BIG!  Let God change your heart to serve others, not yourself.  Don’t be materialistic! Share your stories with others. Become a light in the darkness so that others can find their way.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade five:  Have fun! PLAY!  Believe you are created for much more than where you are and what your doing now!  Believe in people, not things. Create an environment in your life that invites others to want what God has placed inside of you.  Set goals bigger than what you could ever hope to accomplish on your own because you know that God will go BIG on you! Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

As the decades grow, so does the advice.  It grows because your wisdom has grown. You know more, therefore you can accomplish more and create more.  I pray that you will have many years to know how much God loves you and wants to create in you great advice to give to others who will need it.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for you life!

Finding Happy!

People look their whole lives for happiness.  But I believe it is inside us our whole lives.  Silly, I know. But look how we strive to do things, be things and accomplish things never to find happy.  Money isn’t it, love isn’t it, family isn’t it, our job isn’t it, what could it be?

Finding happy happens when we’ve lived long enough to look back and see how far we’ve come.  When we can see how we’ve changed, how we’ve lived, who has come and gone purposely in our lives, what we thought was important and what is important now.  

Striving to find happy takes up our whole being and life.  If we strive to find happy, we miss out on a whole bunch of things where happiness would be found.  Your purpose is attached to your happy. If you have found your purpose, you have found your happy. It is not materialistic.  It is found deep in your soul where only God can fill it.

I hope one day you find your happy.  I have found mine and I have lived half of a full life, some good parts and some not so good.  But I found that finding happy is attached to my purpose. Being a Teacher, Author, Parent and Writer are all connected to the people God needs me to meet and connect with.  And before I became all these things, I wasn’t truly happy.  I had to become all of them to appreciate what it meant to find happy.  All these things together make up me and who God created me to be and who He created me to help and to help me.

Stop searching and waiting  for happy, let it find you. It will!  Until then, live your life. Do things that bring you joy!  Spend it with people who bring you joy! And one day without you even realizing it, happy will find you!