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!

Love Sucks

There is no way around it.  It just does. Not all the time, but just today in my Teacher life!

I love my kids each year with all my heart.  I give and give and give and give so much of myself to them each day.  I have high expectations for them such as following the rules, being respectful, getting along with others.  Most days they get it. But today, they didn’t. And I felt defeated and unloved and done.

When school was over, I went to find my best friend and get a hug. We talked and prayed and thought of strategies to change their bad behaviors.  I went home drank a chai latte, strong coffee and ate chocolate chips. I began to write my bible lesson for Friday’s Bible Club at school. It’s on the Love Chapter:  1 Corinthians 13:4-7. And I decided to be honest in my blog. Usually for Valentine’s Day, I will write something encouraging and lovely. But this year, this just seemed fitting.  

Worldly Love isn’t always lovely.  It isn’t always joyous. It isn’t always kind.  It is mean and rude. It is sad and relentless. It is disappointing and cruel.  It is of the world, not of God.

God’s Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. 6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. 7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. (The Living Bible)

I strive to be like Him, but I always fall short as we all do.  We are not perfect like God, so there is no way we could ever love like God.  We should always strive to do so, though. We shouldn’t give up just because one day sucks or we feel we failed.

I realize that I just gave myself a pep talk and advice.  Which happens a lot, by the way. Sometimes I’m my only cheerleader. I know that I will go back to school tomorrow and love on my kids and many days after that.  I know tomorrow will be different as are all the other days to come. Days will turn into months and months into years and a different crowd of kids will be raised and loved by an awesome Teacher.

But today,.today………….. Love Sucks!

Please Support My Classroom!

Flexible Seating Arrangements

My students need wobble chairs and stack stools in our classroom!  Hard, one size fits all chairs are the thing of the past! Our kids sit in these all day! Could you? Help me change that in my class! 6 more days and Donor Choose doubles your donation!

My Students

My students are energetic, insightful and love to learn. They are ambitious, great citizens and lovers of a brain break or two. They love to move throughout the classroom during the day instead of sitting at their desks. Some stand, some sit on the floor, some sit with their feet in their chairs trying to find comfort in the ordinary classroom they are given.

They are eager to learn and will do so much more in a group atmosphere where they can change seating arrangements.

Movement in our classroom is a must for all learners. My students learn best when they can choose where and how to sit.

My Project

Flexible seating is supported by various research studies which indicate that alternative seating increases students development through greater focus and physical strengthening. The use of an alternative form of seating can ensure proper positioning, in turn affecting a student’s ability to focus. Students who are able to focus better and for longer periods of time will be able to learn more efficiently in all academic areas, including reading and language arts.

Through flexible seating in my classroom, I believe student performance in both reading and math will greatly improve over the course of the school year.

I expect that behavior patterns will also decrease with the use of flexible seating. It gives my students the freedom of movement and the proper positioning of their bodies to remain focused on activities that are vital for academic achievement.

Where Your Donation Goes

MATERIALS COST QUANTITY TOTAL
Fat Catalog ALT-SF-325-RD Kids Round Soft Seating Stool, Red• AMAZON BUSINESS $46.15 2 $92.30
Active Kids Chair – Active Chairs for Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers & Children Who Can’t Sit Still – Great 14″ Wobble Chair for Kids with ADD/ADHD – Corrects Posture | Blue – Age range 3-7y• AMAZON BUSINESS $42.99 2 $85.98
ECR4Kids SoftZone Floor Cushions with Handles, 2″ Deluxe Foam, Round, Assorted, (6-Pack) • AMAZON BUSINESS $70.00 1 $70.00
Norwood Commercial Furniture NOR-1101AC-SO Plastic Stack Stools, 17.75″ Height, 11.75″ Width, 11.75″ Length, Assorted Colors (Pack of 5) • AMAZON BUSINESS $50.73 1 $50.73
Bouncy Bands for Elementary School Chair (Blue)• AMAZON BUSINESS $13.95 2 $27.90

This project will reach 23 students.

Ms. Brooks will only receive her materials if this project is fully funded by October 1, 2018.

 

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!!!