Holding Tight to the Things that Matter?

I am writing this for two reasons:
1.  My own purpose of expressing gratitude to my sweet families who have sent me texts, tweets, facebook posts, emails, called, pictures, and awesome notes of gratitude for being their child’s favorite teacher they will always remember and sharing why.
2.  Holding us accountable to hanging tight to those important things!

I write this not boastfully, but in humble appreciation.  These words/pics of kindness meant more to me these past 3 weeks than anyone will ever know.  (I actually wondered, did they conspire to do this because I literally got one every single day from someone different over the past 5 years!! I even got an email from a parent from 10 years ago! Little did they know the perfect timing!)

I think they knew this would be a tough start for me not seeing these babies.  I think they knew that my heart was thinking of their babies and hoping they had a great first few weeks of school. We all know once they are yours…they are yours!  I think they knew, just like I do, that when we take the time to express words of kindness it makes the world a better place.

It is just more evidence that teachers may never know how much they influence the life of a child, but if they are gifted the blessing to hear it years later….it still brings tears to their eyes and makes their day brighter!

Thank you, my loving families, for being so kind and showering me with love all the time. My job is to pay that forward. 🙂

I want to share a few pictures of these precious, loving kids that show what is important in my heart every year as I think about the gifts from above that I have been trusted with to keep safe and love all year!

3 Important Things:

1. Develop a safe, loving environment where my kids bond and feel safe taking risks.

Our 2 classes after Tug of War Truck Pull. No one argued or cried! They had fun and won/lost together. There was authentic encouragement, help, and good sportsmanship!
Just hanging out playing a simple hand-clap game.  They enjoy being together because they trust each other to be a friend and use our only rule – The Golden Rule.
This sweet bunch kicked off my first year digitally teaching years back!  Wow…was there ever safety and risk taking involved with them.  🙂 There are some special kids in my heart in this picture!

2. Develop relationships with my students and parents! Let them know and see my heart and for me to know and see theirs.

At Fall Festival hanging out with my babies, and finding them TOGETHER because they WANTED to be!

Found my precious Joker, whom I hold so dear in my heart, still and forever will! 🙂

3.  Develop a true love of learning in each student and have it carry on beyond my walls.

After studying ladybugs, my plan was to take it no further. However, my precious littles organized a ladybug burial (on their own), and even prepared speeches so that our little friends could have a proper ceremony.  Above and Beyond….but the lessons really stuck.
One of my families so close to me, because I had 3 of their 4 kids, saw this at a family trip and had to stand by it and send to me.  It melted my heart!  It’s those moments!  🙂

Then there are the moments of the MANY sweet notes, cards, pictures, etc. you get as a teacher – which we all know mean more to us than any monetary gift you can think of!!  This one, on a simple sticky note, is the one that says it all to me.  It says how important teachers are and how we need to be the voice for our kids.  Be the one who believes in them, so they can believe in themselves.

I mean come on, if she doesn’t get to be the Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Coach after this….then, I don’t know what!  I’m not quite sure what being like me means.  Hope she gets that coaching job!  🙂  Honestly, I can bank on it now.  This child WILL be that coach and I will have GREAT seats to a game that I love!!

So, as I reflect after 3 weeks of school on those 3 things that are key in my heart…I ask you to see if you are holding strong to the things that matter?  Are you taking the time to build the relationships with not only your kids, but their parents?  Are you taking the time to make sure each child has a friend and feels safe?  All of that must come first before any learning begins.  Now that I have expressed all my gratitude…..let’s go and Be THE champion in the lives of these children!