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!


Dear Parents

I’m pouring out my heart at conferences to let you know I’m fighting for your child, pushing them to the next level and loving them with everything I am!  And I’m thankful for your support of my purpose.

Your Child’s Teacher

Unfortunately,  most teachers do not work for the money. (the truth is:  there’s no money in teaching).  Teachers actually teach because they love it!  Most would do it for free, by hey, we gotta pay bills and eat.

The support from parents is very important to us.  Coming to our school conferences allows us to showcase your child’s work and the successes their making.  It also allows us to discuss things that aren’t so great, like behavior.

Let us in!  We should be supporting each other.  Most teachers have 25-30+ students they see everyday.  Your child is one (1) of them.  Let us help you maximize your child’s potential! We love them like our own!

Even When………

Even when I can’t see it,

They are learning.

Even when I can’t feel it,

they are learning.

I know I want it now

But someday, somehow…….

Even when I think I’m failing,

They are learning.

 

I wrote this poem after testing all week and all day.  My brain was tired, my body was tired, and when I saw the growth my students had made.  I was scared!  I worked really hard everyday, every week, everyday off, every holiday to improve my teaching and find ways to reach the hardest students.  I know this, too, is YOU!  

Teacher, you are inspiring, lovable, inspirational, incredible, awesome and a hero!  You put yourself on a front line everyday!  You don’t know from day to day what your students are learning no matter how hard you try teaching it.  But there comes a day, you can actually see your hard work pay off.  You can actually see your student’s hard work pay off.  It will happen!  You are more than what parent’s see.  You are more than what society sees.  You are more than what the world sees.  You are wonderfully and beautifully made for this PURPOSE, your PURPOSE……………. To be a TEACHER!

 

I am proud to stand with you!   Congratulations!!!

What’s your impact?

Today was a great day!  An impact is having a strong effect on someone or something.  I’m a teacher, which, just the thought is an impact in itself.  Take a listen………

 

I teach first grade!  My littles struggle with all of life’s issues, if their parents suffer it, they do too.  During a math lesson, after working out a problem in their math book, I asked for volunteers to come to the board and show their strategies.  Hands went up everywhere in the classroom including one little boy who is very, very shy and soft spoken.  I saw his hand and trying not to attract attention to him, I whispered to my teacher assistant to look.  After the student before him sat down, I told him to go show us his strategy.

 

The class went silent!  He worked his strategy on the board and wrote the correct answer.  We took pictures and a video to send to his parents.  What a proud moment!  

 

When he turned around, the class erupted in celebration.  He went back to his seat with the biggest smile on his face.  It took all I had to hold back tears of joy! While other students presented their strategies, the celebration continued for him.  Students said, “Good job!  I’m proud of you!  You did good!” to him and he just smiled.

 

I knew what “impact” was in that moment and saw first hand what it can accomplish when you take the time to expect great things to happen.  We have very high expectations in our class.  We are 21st century citizens!  We take our studies seriously!   And it shows!   

 

What’s Your Impact?

 

Things I Want My First Graders to Know

I love you!

I believe in you!

You are destined for great things!

After the first week of school and bringing homework home every night and thinking of my little students, I wrote this over the weekend. I wanted them to know how important they are. That you’re not too little to dream, to do great things and to be loved just for being themselves!

I posted it in my classroom and then went over it with them, so they could understand what I was trying to tell them. So they would know who they are and that they are important. So that they would know how I felt about them and that I wasn’t afraid to show it. Then, I read, “You Are Wonderfully and Beautifully Made”, my first authored book. The same words written in that book made a connection to the words I wrote on that poster. That book was written in 2014, three years later I’ve written different words with the same meaning to little ones who deserve to know how special they are.

On Sunday in church while I was worshipping my Heavenly Father,   He reminded me that the words I wrote for my students He wrote for me. I love you! I believe in you! You are destined for great things! And most recently, I’m so proud of you! He created me to be the very person you see today. He purposed me to love, teach and treasure little ones who need to know they are not mistakes or unwanted! They are worthy and highly thought of. They are also purposed to do great things that He created them to be. When they hear they this, their eyes get wide and their mouths open. They look at each other and have the biggest smiles on their faces. Then they know that they are wonderfully and beautifully made.

You are too! You were created on purpose, for a purpose. He knew you way before you were conceived! He wanted you, He needed you! He loves you! He believes in you! He destined you for great things! I know some of you don’t believe in God and that’s ok! It is a choice. But fortunately, you were created by the same Heavenly Father as I! And you too, are wonderfully and beautifully made!

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3   You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?   8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea. 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12   even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,   for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:1-18

My Teacher, My Hero

Teachers are people who work really hard at their jobs. They work up to 10 hours a day at school (7-5) and then at home, after taking care of their families. It is my 1st year in 1st grade. It is the 3rd day of school. I worked a week and ½ before school started and including Saturdays to get ready for school. I have worked from 7-4 every day this week to prepare, learn and teach all there is to know about 1st grade. Then made myself leave school to take care of my family and continue to work on school stuff at home until 9-10 every night. I woke up last night at 3:43 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I was thinking about all the things I needed to that day to teach the schedule, assess, teach routines and behaviors, help them learn their lunch numbers, make anchor charts, rework the schedule, remember how to take attendance, pull up the math on the LED, planning with my grade level, next week’s lesson plan, etc. I prayed to go back to sleep, but I just laid there thinking.

Some people complain about our job as a Teacher. Some people think we are awesome. I think we are Heroes! We would stop the world from spinning to make sure a child is loved, cared for, learning, having fun, making friends, being a friend, being respectful, having a full belly and a hug. We make sure every day your child knows what they have learned and that they are important and have a purpose for being here. We do what we do because we love it. We work hard, because your child is worth it.

Take time and appreciate a Teacher. We all have a teacher that changed our lives, made us better people and made us think a different way. Mine was my 4th grade teacher. She cared for a student who no one cared for. She made sure he was loved and that no one treated him mean. I thank her because that’s how I teach! Thank you, Mrs. Greer!

I will continue to push myself daily, hourly, minute by minute to make sure your child has a great year at school! My school is great! I can’t wait to get there tomorrow to do it all over again!

 

Teachers, Prepare To Fight!

As you are preparing for your first day of the new school year, remember to put on the full armor of God. Every day you step into your school and classroom, the enemy will try to fight you through the students, parents, other teachers, administers, county, state and national leaders. He will make you feel insecure, useless, hopeless, and defeated.   You must be prepared to fight back and stand up for what you know is right!

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

A wonderful and lovely friend reminded me of this passage this morning. The enemy wants our students and schools to fail, so we feel like failures. If our focus is on us and our failures, then the enemy knows it won’t be on God.  But if we put on the armor of God and pray our way through, this very first day of the new school year will be a breeze. In Romans 8:31, it says, “what, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” And we all know that God wins in the end, right? (smile inserted)

So as you put on your clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc., remember the put on the armor of God to protect you against any evil thing that may come your way. Ask God to come into your classroom and school and to help you be strong and face what may very well be your best year yet!

You are in my prayers! Have a GREAT First Day!