July 19, 2017

What EVERY Teacher Needs

When I was a student teacher, my Master Teacher taught me a lot of things. But, there was one piece of advice that I would like to share with you. This simple suggestion has helped me through some tough days and even tougher years...
Keep Your Cards
I remember her opening the drawer of her desk and showing me dozens and dozens of cards and notes. Some were handwritten on sticky notes, some were elaborate greeting cards. All of them had words of praise and thanks.

She explained that there would be times in my career when I would get tired, when I would feel unappreciated. When I might not want to teach anymore. I couldn't imagine such a thing; but she was right.

Thankfully, when the darker moments of teaching happened, I was able to pull open my own desk drawer and sift through the cards and notes I had accumulated. I also have small trinkets and drawings that have been gifts as well. They are all a saving grace. The words and memories have helped keep me centered. They remind me of why I teach and they whisper words of encouragement when negativity shouts in my ear.
This year I am ditching my desk. I need to find a new home for my cards and notes. They have become my lighthouse in a stormy sea more than once and there is no way I am going to throw them away.

I have a Star Wars storage box that was a gift from a student a couple of years ago. It seems like a perfect fit.
With my desk gone, I will place my box in a place where I can always see it; where with one glance I can remember the positive impact I have had throughout the years. As future student teachers make their way through my classroom I will be sure to pass on the advice my Master Teacher gave me and have them start their own box of encouragement...starting with the card I give them.