Posts tagged inspiration
Posts tagged inspiration
Diagnosed with autism at age 2, told he would never learn to read, now 14 years old and working on a Master’s degree in quantum physics.
If you’re looking for an inspiration today, look no further than Jacob Barnett.
I like his mom’s concept of “muchness”: Surrond children with what they love, be it art, science, sports or whatever, and they will develop more fully than molding them to a design would ever allow.
Some days this time of year I wonder if I’m going to make it. Six classes, homeroom, a full room of kids using computers during my “planning” period. Senior slide show. Graduation movie. Lunch/ break duty seemingly every other week. My technology plan for next year is due next Tuesday. Six classes and all these projects due. I’m also IT director. I try to do fun things at the end of the year but struggle to find patience and just the simple energy to be able to make it.
I go to the lunchroom just to get out of my room but think of all that I have to do. So many teachers are “winding down.” I’m not. I’m running faster and faster and faster - it happens every year. Then, graduation and I completely collapse. I can feel the Saturday morning after graduation - I almost can’t even speak. It is more than being over finals it is a feeling of being spent at an an important cause worth working for.
This is teacher appreciation week and that, for me, may be one of the hardest things about teaching. Sometimes it is nice for someone just to say “thank you.” Yesterday the PTO brought us Blizzards and smoothies as a small thank you - while my waistline didn’t appreciate it ;-) — I did.
I think that hardest thing for me is that so many are winding down and checking out… I can see it in their faces. My hardest work is now and then when they finish - kids beg to come to the computer lab and I have a ton to do and am given kids to supervise who are there to do nothing but pretend otherwise. ;-)
The challenges of the last days are many. But I believe it is vitally important to end well. I must plan lessons until the last day. I must engage as a teacher even when I don’t have it in me. I will love these kids until the last bell. I only have these beautiful 10th graders another 10 days and they have been a FANTASTIC class - I’m crazy about them. I can say the same of my 9th and 8th graders. As hard as this school year has been, the kids have been beyond my wildest dreams.
My biggest struggles are with my humanness - the fact that I need sleep, rest, and can’t humanly go 24/7 without stopping. I think if I were a superwoman, I’d be a perfect teacher.
But they don’t have superwoman - they have me — just plain old “Miss Vicki” and that has to be enough.
The last days of school are important. I think they are often a litmus test for teachers. Teachers who are there to bide their time start babysitting and goofing off. Teachers who have a burning desire in their soul to teach - find a way to teach and make it fun.
The difference between goofing off and teaching using fun activities is subtle but huge. Those who goof off with kids have fun as the intention and don’t take a break for anything else.Those who use fun to teach with kids have fun as the tool and often take breaks to interject purpose and meaning and have learning as the intention.
I so many great colleagues, but I know the best. The best teach till the last moment on the last day. It may be over my dead body but I’ll use all 10 of the rest of the days to teach these wonderful kids. I’m not here to just have class, I’m here to completely blow their minds. I want to transform them and these last days will be an exclamation point not some sort of ellipses that fades into nothingness b/c I didn’t find it in me to finish.
One of these days, I will no longer have the energy to do this job. The workload I have is tough and I go from 7 am or so until most days at 4:30 or 5 and am lucky to have a lunch minute. It is the hardest job I’ve ever had - and I’ve had some pretty important jobs in business with multi million dollar budgets. I’ve loved every job I’ve had (except pulling weeds in Dad’s peanut fields in 100 degree heat - THAT was the pits.)
As much as I’ve loved every job - this is the only job with so much purpose. I see it in the faces of these children. Their foreheads raised in surprise, their hands clicking frantically at something new they’ve learned. Their mouths jabbering as they excitedly learn something new. I’m giving my best to them these last days - all I have. To love them inspire them, encourage them to live excellently, and help them continue to become technologically fluent creators and thinkers.
I hope that if you’re in the end of your last days at school and you’re considering “checking out” that you won’t. There’s still work to be done. As long as you have a person in your room with a heartbeat, you have a job to teach and teach well.
Sorry teachers can go somewhere else - we need excellence. Excellence in every classroom every day - even in the last days — especially in the last days. You may have been testing all year but now you’re not, we tend to remember the first days and last days when we consider something - so make those memories fond.
These last days will be over before you know it and we’ll be in the first days again. Like dessert after a fantastic meal, savor every bite. Teaching is a gift and a joy. Even amidst the exhaustion, the sweet taste of success after a delicious meal of learning through out the year is one to savor.
Last Days. I’ll make them last. When the final bell rings in 2 weeks, I’ll sit down in my room, look at the empty chairs, and start thinking about and praying about next year. I’ll prepare for the teachers I’ll teach over the summer - keeping my mind on “my kids.” My students. My precious gifts. I’ll never take for granted the gift of students and the gift of being allowed the privilege of teaching them and hope to be allowed the blessings of doing it until I’m in my own last days of life.
And that, my friends… is how I feel about this divine calling of teaching. As hard as it is, as thankless, as exhausting… it is truly a profession whose legacy will LAST.
LAST DAYS - yep - every single one of these days this year will last in some child’s mind. They may not have my name affixed to that thought or memory, but I know that I have loved them and given all I have… and that, my friends, will last. Inspiration, education, and dedication have a lasting impact that you cannot know or understand.
I hope you last, my friends. Make it. Be strong. Teach well… because these days are short and there’s a lot to do.
Make your last memories of your last days be ones you can be proud of. Teach well, my noble friends, you’re my heroes.
Team Hoyt - Dick and Rick Hoyt (by Pedro Vicente)
Yesterday, I was curious about 2 people that I knew that I knew were running the Boston Marathon +Scott Rigsby and Team Hoyt. If you haven’t heard of Dick and Rick Hoyt, you should see this inspiring video. For those of you who don’t understand or get running, it is so freeing. I love to run and pray for my knee to do well so I can start running more. I love running. and there are many people who struggle to run. That is what gets me about the bombing besides the horror of it - the strugglers and stragglers were the ones targeted. 3/4 had already gone through. It is truly a tragedy in so many ways. I hope you’ll take today and watch Dick and Rick Hoyt and see the inspiration of a father who loves his son but also the inspiration of a man who doesn’t let his limitation keep him down. Despite the fact he has cerebal palsy - Rick Hoyt graduated from High school and from Boston College and is able to speak with the assistance of a computer.
I thought you might find this documentary inspirational. It tells the story of an art teacher in Iowa making stop motion animation with his K-6 students.
We wish we had an art teacher like this when we were young.This is a guest post, cool. Art teacher teaching stop motion. I want to know how to do this! — Vicki
Remember ” I am at the center of my own att-I-tude.” It is mine to choose.
Mine to own for truly it is my own.
If you’re sour or angry, don’t say “so and so made me have a bad day.” Sure, bad things happen but no one can MAKE you have a bad day.
Tomorrow, go in for some pretty yucky skin cancer surgery on my face but as I deal with that all of spring break, finishing up with plastic surgery on Wednesday, my attitude is my choice.
Your attitude is your choice too. And when we see those who choose a better way, we wonder what happened and that is when we’re inspired.
Just think, struggles are an opportunity to inspire others. Yet, most of us don’t want to see them that way. We’d rather be happily comfortable than inspiringly uncomfortable. He who seeks a comfortable life best not live because we all have struggles. Pity parties are usually poorly attended, I’ve found.
Choose your attitude today.
“Duty is a very personal thing. It is what comes from knowing the need to take action and not just a need to urge others to do something.”
How often do we sit around and yell for others to do something? Would we do this if we saw a child drowning? Save the child if you see the child drowning!
This is what we must remember. I believe that when God has put it upon my heart to clearly see a need that I am to be part of meeting that need. Rallying others to action is just a part, first I must rally myself.
To sit around and see an unmet need when I can handle it myself is like my children listening to the phone ring without getting up to answer it. If it is ringing and you hear it, answer. Likewise, if the need of another is ringing in your ear, get up and answer.
No matter what you do… how you act… what you say… there are some people who will not like you. The only thing they would like was if you were dead or something really bad happened to you.
It is a waste of time to try to please such people because you can’t. You can’t make the sun go backwards and you can’t make someone go back and like you if they’ve really decided to hate you.
Let it go. It is really hard to deal with this, because I have a tough time with it myself, but I’m getting to the point where I’m just telling myself to get over myself and get over it and just live my life.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
This is a great quote from a teacher. I think what bothered me most about this quote was the “title” given to her after her name - “Spinster” as if she missed out on something. Surely, my children are a great and fantastic calling and I’m glad that I’m a parent - but truly, those men and women I know who have dedicated themselves entirely to teaching have more children than they can count. To demean a life given to children with the label “spinster” is more than I can stand to see given. Teaching is a noble calling and this woman should have just been labeled “teacher” and that is enough.