This week I received a letter from a kindergarten teacher asking me to write down what I believed was my best performance. Her principal challenged them to collect motivational strategies that would energize them this coming year. Here was my response:
As I thought about your message, one moment did not appear, but a tapestry of children’s smiles flashed before my eyes. Life and teaching are not a snapshot, but a video of all our experiences, challenges, accomplishments, failures, joys, and adventures. Every day you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again!
I recently received an email and on the bottom it said, “In life it’s not about waiting for the storm to pass over – it’s about dancing in the rain.” Isn’t that what educators do every day? You have to shut your door and figure out how to make learning more exciting and fun. You’ve got to give children the academic roots to be successful and the hope and dreams to believe in themselves and the future.
It’s the little things in life that count. Do every act of kindness and do a little bit more than the job demands.
A friend who taught with me over 40 years ago visited recently and said, “I remember how you would take the most pitiful little child and write on their hand: YOU ARE AMAZING AND WONDERFUL! Or YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!”
She said, “Why did you do that?” My response was, for once in their lives I wanted them to feel that way. I wanted them to know that someone believed in them.
Several years ago I visited a fourth grade class and sang some songs, told a story, and made a book with them. I wasn’t there over 30 minutes, but when I was leaving a little boy placed a note in my hands that said:
Tis the gift to care about kids everywhere.
Tis loving them no matter where.
Tis right to teach. Tis right to share.
Tis caring to feel for others
Tis you who sits and listens to others.
Tis you who understands.
Tis you, tis you, tis you who CARES.
What a profound thought! In spite of technology and Common Core State Standards, every child just wants to be noticed and loved! TIS YOU who does that every day!