Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Simple Text Message

For Teacher Tip Tuesday, I have decided to share a little of what my day was like today. Of course this is without sharing immense amounts of details, but let me just say CRAZY does not even begin to encapsulate this day! Lots of kids in the time out room all while my aides and I are trying to juggle and keep the remaining students learning. After school when the day was done and I ran back to my classroom to pick something up for a student (who was still there and didn't leave til after 4:30!!!!), I glanced and noticed my phone that was still safely on my desk. (Somehow it is really interesting to me that life can explode in a classroom and then your phone is still safely on your desk in plain view!)

Anyway, when I finally looked at my phone I realized how meaningful a moment of encouragement can be. I subscribe to a text message that our church sends out daily. It really is neat and can really offer a great nudge in the right direction. Today's text was: 
"'Thank you!' Say it often today. Thank God for 'being born on 3rd base' and let Him expand your heart of gratitude and generosity this week"
After having had a frustrating afternoon where I had almost been bit (3 times), my hair pulled, and being spit on, I was reminded of why I am here. Why I teach. Why I step foot into my classroom each day. I was reminded that I did not need to just be grateful for a job, but truly grateful for the opportunity to teach my young student, even in this moment. I got the privilege, just as I do each and every day, to teach my student compassion and forgiveness. I may not always recognize these feelings, but truly I am blessed to be teaching a great group of little guys! 

In addition to this I am grateful for the support of co-workers who quite often ROCK! Yesterday I got an encouraging text from a former aide who just wanted to let me know that she would be praying for us! How amazingly blessed we all are! I was born on 3rd! (The reference refers to that taught by my pastor over the weekend... listen to it here! (Thanks John for your amazing words, they are truly from a place far above!) Basically, we are given much and often do not even realize how much we have, even aside from the material items.)

So to my fellow educators, I highly suggest something that can remind you the reason you do what you do. Day can get busy and cluttered with small and minuscule details. Frustrations come as often as the sun's rays, but focusing on those negative thoughts are not where our minds need to be. For me it is staying focused on God, for others it may be just a reminder of the higher goal is. Either way, as teachers we must find ways to encourage ourselves. The following are some ideas to give yourself a start! 

  • A daily text from a friend or a family member to help encourage you. Or even an SMS text from an automated site. It's amazing how even the automated stuff can sometimes hit us just right!     
  • You could set your phone to remind you at least one time a day to be grateful. Use the calendar, a fancy app, or even a sticky note posted to your computer screen. You could even start a group of people at your school to help encourage one another! Like this one
  • Find encouraging quotes, like the ones here, to write down and put in your lesson plan book, around your desk, in your car, wherever you will see it! 
  • Work on memorizing a quote or a Bible verse to help you keep calm, stay focused and be grateful for the opportunity you have been given to teach GREAT minds! Some great quotes can be found just by doing a simple Google search. Here are a couple links for that - Encouraging Quotes for Teachers, Encouraging Quotes, or even Desktop Quotes

Whatever it is you choose, I speak from experience, it helps in times of stress and frustration.  I hope this list helps you! If you have a suggestion to add, please feel free to comment! If you are not an educator, but if you now one, never be afraid to say you are praying for a teacher. Send a word to encourage them during the day, by email , text or even a note! If you are a parent, it helps to send a thank you note to your child's teacher. If you dont know a teacher, say a quick prayer every time you see a crossing gaurd or pass a school. Every little bit of encouragement helps! 

PS. Thanks to those who sent those GREAT message of encouragement to my phone this week! You have no idea the impact. You know who you are! 

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