The Hustle & Heart of Teachers

Teachers continue to inspire me. I mean truly. It’s incredible what teachers are accomplishing as we bring our school year to a close later at the end of this month.

During this week of teacher appreciation, I want to take a moment to name just a few of the many ways teachers are inspiring me.

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

The main thing being positive, meaningful learning experiences. I’m in awe of the incredible hands on learning opportunities I’m seeing in classrooms. There are students building battery powered, solar charged toy cars, students keeping track of and celebrating where they are on the path to mastery of learning targets, and more and more and more. I wish every teacher could walk around and enjoy the incredible variety of learning opportunities that people like me get to see and celebrate every day. We must find ways to get more teachers into each other’s classrooms. Learning right now is so alive with inquiry and students uncovering and discovering.

Celebrating Others

We have an amazing instructional coach in our district, Sarah Kaufman, who has set up a Google form where teachers and students can send each other certificates with positive messages on them. I am deeply humbled to say that this is supposed to be a week about celebrating teachers…and I, someone who is not currently a classroom teacher, have been receiving certificates from teachers. I mean, think about that, it’s like someone sending you a card on THEIR birthday, making you feel like the gift. How beautiful! You know who does that? Teachers. Like the true leaders they are, they are always looking for opportunities to celebrate others and give others credit.

Modeling Learning

I ran into a teacher today who had her arm in a sling. I was concerned and was asking her questions about what happened and how long her recovery would be. The English teacher in me then thought to ask, “Oh no, is this the hand you write with?” She chuckled and confirmed. I said, “Oh my goodness, that’s so tough.” Without missing a beat she said, “Yeah, but it’s been an opportunity to learn new things. I’m a silver linings person.” Wow. Not only is she using this as an opportunity to learn something new, she modeled resilience for me. That small 30 second hallway interaction felt like a quick Ted Talk in the best possible way.

Certainly, there are going to be times when we aren’t feeling our best as educators. We are human beings. It’s what we do in response to those feelings to get what we need and move forward in healthy ways that matters most. And certainly, there are people who do not embody what we want our profession to be. But take a look around, there is so much good happening in our schools every day, and there are many people who make us feel proud to be educators.

Please take a moment to celebrate a teacher for their hustle and heart. They deserve it all and more.

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