Teachers: Never Forget How Much You Matter

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Whether you teach at an elementary school, a middle school, a high school, or an alternative school, this message is for you. This message is for ALL teachers, regardless of your school’s zip code or socio-economic status. This message is for ALL teachers, from first year teachers to teachers one year removed from retirement. This message is for ALL teachers: Never forget how much you matter. Never forget that you’re making a difference.

Some students may respect your authority; others may challenge it. Some students may sit up straight and listen to directions the first time; others may slouch and need constant redirections. Some students may participate in every activity; others may never participate at all. Regardless of student engagement, never forget how much you matter. Never forget that you’re making a difference.

Some students may respond well to positive reinforcements; others may need a stern “talking to” in the hallway. Some students may complete every single assignment; others may complete a single assignment. Some students may create a thank you card for you to keep; others may never say or write those words for you to hear or read. Regardless of student behavior, never forget how much you matter. Never forget that you’re making a difference.

Some colleagues may devote as much time to planning as you do; others may devote the bare minimum. Some colleagues may be rock star teachers; others may be struggling to maintain order in their classrooms. Some colleagues may have a wealth of experience and tricks of the trade; others may be novices and in need of advice. Regardless of teacher experience, never forget how much you matter. Never forget that you’re making a difference.

Some parents may be super involved in their child’s school life; others may never make contact with you or attend a school-sponsored event. Some parents may provide every material that you’ve requested; others may never supply the bare minimum. Some parents may visit your classroom and engage in a positive conversation; others may visit your classroom and engage in a not-so-positive conversation. Regardless of parental involvement, never forget how much you matter. Never forget that you’re making a difference.

Some administrators may be your strength in time of need; others may be missing-in-action. Some administrators may encourage risk taking and creativity; others may micromanage your talents and demand rigid scripts. Some administrators may foster a healthy school learning environment and school culture; others may drive wedges between key stakeholders throughout the building. Regardless of administrative leadership, never forget how much you matter. Never forget that you’re making a difference.

Some days you may feel like the best teacher on planet Earth; other days you may feel like the worst. Some days your lessons may flow exactly as planned; other days your lessons may fall flat of its face. Some days you may be glad you are a teacher; other days you may feel like updating your résumé. Regardless of the day-to-day grind and emotional roller-coaster, never forget how much you matter. Never forget that you’re making a difference.

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