Wednesday, May 6, 2015


There are a lot of times when we, as teachers, don’t feel very inspiring. There are days when we feel like we don’t make much of a difference and we don’t do much to change the world.

I’m here to remind you that you’re wrong. On just this. :)

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. I want to let you know how appreciated you are.

You are appreciated by your students, like I appreciate my former teachers

  • Ms. Vitti, my kindergarten teacher who taught me to read, and paint, and sing, and all those other life-changing kindergarten things.
  • Ms. McConnaughey, my fifth grade teacher who taught me to have better handwriting (I promise, the current handwriting IS an improvement) and organs of the body.
  • Ms. Stockman, my 6th and 8th grade Language Arts teacher who taught me to enjoy literature. And to understand grammar. And to write well.
  • Mr. Stocker and Coach Farrell, my high school AP Euro and AP US history teachers who taught me about the world and about how to learn & study and how to make content “stick”.

But you are also appreciated by your peers, like I appreciate my colleagues ...
  • Ms. Cooper, (now at BCHS) who taught me how to have quiet, one-on-one chats with students to improve my relationship with them and to improve their behavior.
  • Mr. Malinka, (still at MMS) who taught me how to read student work for National Boards -- and to figure out how much my students were learning.
  • Mrs. Kreger, (now at NEHS) who taught me how to plan for and set up PD, and how to think about art as a learning tools.
  • Mr. Bernard, (still at GHS) who taught me how to start a school year right and how to keep those kids in the palm of your hand for the rest of the year..
  • Ms. Salvesen, (still at AMS) who taught me how to manage a classroom of struggling students and make it look easy (I know it’s not)

There are a hundred other teachers in this district who have taught me wonderful things -- but I’m 
going to start sounding like a long-winded Oscar speech.

I don’t know all of your students, so I can’t remind them to show their appreciation this week, but I hope your students and administrators make a big fuss.

But I do know YOU.

I want to remind you that the power you have to change lives isn’t just isolated within your classroom.

You have the power to assist, empower, and enhance the teaching of your colleagues.

I see it all the time -- in a casual hallway conversation, when you do real common planning, when you problem-solve as a team, when you share ideas and advice, when you meet after school for “social time” and adult beverages and work out problems, when you fix each other’s projectors or share cool resources.

Teachers, I hope we all appreciate our colleagues. Please tell your colleagues this week how much you learn from them, how much help they are, and how much you appreciate them. When we appreciate each other, we strengthen each other.

What teachers do you appreciate? As always, I love to hear! Email me any time

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