Thank you everyone for making 2017 a wonderful first year for Your Classroom,LLC. You shared your love, time, interesting stories, support, and you told your family and friends about our educational supply and service store. Thank You! We say “Hello” with a big smile and open arms to 2018! See you soon.
I will continue to keep Floridians lifted in prayer because of the devastation our unwelcome guest; Hurricane Irma, caused while visiting our state. Our hurt is real and many of us have never experienced anything like this before. The loss of our material possessions, days of no electricity, lack of food and water, and flooding that made streets look like lakes. Life was very uncomfortable, but we have life! I have life and I am thankful to God, are you? Your material possession, your stuff can be replaced, it’s just stuff.
So, how do we begin to recover from this disaster? We start with the understanding that it is a gradual process for all of us including our children. Our children will look to us for extra attention and reassurance that life will return to normal. Here are a few suggestions to assist you with the process:
- Recognize your feelings don’t ignore your sadness, fear, or anger. Emotions are a vital part of the healing process. Let your children know it’s ok for them to share their own feelings.
- Focus on one thing that is important to you and your family right now; one thing, not every thing. One thing has to be first and that’s where you start. Remember to include your children as you develop a plan for getting started.
- Your normal routine will help bring calm to your life and allow your brain to reset. Getting back to your normal routine or close to it helps your children to adjust and begin to understand how to recover from tragedy.
Remember the human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome
Places for HELP: American Red Cross, Americares, Catholic Charities USA, Feeding Florida, The Salvation Army, UNICEF, Samaritan’s Purse, FEMA and your local church.
During the school year, you are “on” every minute of your exhausting eight-hour school day for (at least) 180 days, but not today! Today, you are on summer break, so it’s time to forget about grading, record keeping, and lesson planning. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing for next year. Leave your work behind and start crossing off items on our teacher’s summer checklist.
Of course, reading is number one on this list! Read books that you could recommend to your students, read books that are related to your content area, read books that support professional development, or read books that you simply want to read. Just read! No matter the content, reading will broaden your horizons so you can bring more wisdom to your students.
Travel to far off lands or explore a local museum. Your travels are something you can share with your students to build rapport, introduce new perspectives, and celebrate culture. Don’t forget to collect artifacts from your travels; they make great teacher “show and tell” items.
3. Go on nature walks
Henry David Thoreau said, “We can never have enough of nature.” Take a page from Thoreau and experience the beauty and peace that can be found in nature. A nature walk is a perfect way to clear your head. While breathing in the fresh air and listening to the birds sing, you may find some STEM inspiration for your curriculum.
4. Bargain hunt
Summer is the perfect time to bargain hunt. Peruse the clearance racks at Target and TJ Maxx, stop by local yard sales, and browse Craigslist. While you’re enjoying your retail therapy, you just might find fun classroom decor or flexible seating pieces.
5. Play games
Sharpen your logic with chess or kick around a soccer ball in your backyard. When you’ve found a game that’s really fun, think about how you could adapt it to your content.
6. Browse social media
Who would have thought that social media scrolling could actually be meaningful? It can! Find your teacher tribe on Instagram and participate in an educational chat on Twitter. Use hashtags to find great teacher professional development and expand your teacher network.
7. Listen to podcasts
There are podcasts for just about everything! Listen to lectures by famous historians, find motivational and organizational tips from life coaches, or listen to world news reports. Save your favorites to share with your students next year.
Run, bike, play tennis, go to kickboxing classes, or do yoga. As Thomas Jefferson believed, “A strong body makes the mind strong.” While you’re developing that strong mind and body, you may come up with some great ideas for brain breaks or movement-in-the-classroom lessons. Plus, you’ll have better stamina to make it through those long, busy days during the school year.
Food is a pathway to culture (and to the hearts of your students). Experiment with new recipes and taste the culture of a far off place. You just may be able to share your newfound culture with your students.
Above all else, relax! There is no better way to prepare yourself for next year than taking much needed time to rejuvenate, so you can be refreshed and ready to take on a new school year!
Article Posted by Jenna Copper
Jenna Copper is a full-time high school English teacher and a part-time English professor with a Ph.D. in Education. You can follow her daily teaching tidbits on Instagram @doc_cop. She blogs at www.doccopteaching.com.
I am Candy Apple Red and Pink Lemonade Sweet proud to say that I am a TEACHER! Not just a teacher but A TEACHER! I have friends that are teachers and I know individuals that want to become teachers. We are important people in the lives of the children that God has placed in our care. We Are Stewards Over The Future!
I did not realize this when I was a freshman at North Carolina Central University; majoring in Elementary Education, the impact that I would have in the lives of children. It quickly became apparent to me during my student teaching as my passion and soon to be profession would intertwine daily. Mothers and Fathers entrust me with their children; their joy, their love, their babies; no matter the age of the child, for 180 days 6-11 hours a day. Wow, thank you God! My Heavenly Father placed my desires, passions, dreams, and gifts inside of me before he placed me on this earth. As a teacher I am able to educate and shape our children for the future. The children I have today will become our leaders of tomorrow.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “You Must Be The Change You Wish to See In The World.”
Teachers we have the ability to shape the world into a loving, understanding, compassionate place. We can motivate children to be better than their best selves and encourage them to get out of their comfort zone, but we too must be an example of what we teach. The best teacher leaders are accountable and responsible for their own change. If you are a teacher “Thank You!” I know and understand what it takes to stand in front of a class 180 days or more being kind, patient, funny, hard-working, passionate, tired, underpaid, overlooked, encouraged etc., all while loving our future leaders Remember, We Are Stewards Over The Future and we are building a better future one child at a time in our class, our school, our community, and the world.
I pray you had a HAPPY TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK!
“What’s Love Got To Do With it?”
Though I have all the Elmer’s glue and scissors and have read the lesson five times and have not Love, I am not a teacher. And though I have all the construction paper, glitter and Bible posters, puzzles and unit activities, and have been to several planning meetings, and have not Love, I am not a teacher. For being a teacher is more than being on time, present, Bible brought, and lesson prepared. It is even more than faithfully attending all church services and study courses. A teacher is kind and smiles a lot. A teacher looks neat and is not easily provoked when the heat is off and all the children have to keep on their coats. A teacher is not envious of others’ talents, but uses their own creativity and talents to the best of their ability, and even shares with others. A teacher seeketh not for their name to be praised, but works for the glory of God. They beareth the problems. Believeth and hopeth the best for all children and teachers, for a teacher’s work is in vain unless they have a true interest in children. Where there be magic markers, they shall dry up. Where there be chalk and blackboards, they shall crumble. Where there be printed literature, it shall fade. But a right relationship with God will endure forever. As it is shared in the lives of your children. All work is a result is of His Love. And now abided planning, preparation, and Love, These three, but the greatest of these is Love, For without God’s Love, all work is for naught.
An Adaptation of 1 Corinthians 13 by Sally Murphy
Excel in 2017
There is a right time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Eccl 3:1) The word of God teaches us this important spiritual principal with its order and so it is with our lives.
2017 is the perfect time to find something you can excel at. Everyone enjoys being great at something. Being productive and useful gives our life purpose and meaning. Model this for children because for children, excelling at something is the foundation in which they build their self-esteem.
At the earliest possible age help children find a useful, positive skill at which they can excel. It can be sports, dance, choir, art, debate or anything positive. Their life holds endless possibilities for building solid foundations, but they must work hard at it.
As you continue to move forward one day at a time keep your spiritual sight on God and stay open to His guidance, and your purpose will be revealed to you. Remember, to also encourage your child to strive but be sure they can relax and know that their personal best is good enough.
“If We All Did The Things We Are Capable Of Doing, We Would Literally Astound Ourselves.”