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What Works! Teacher Appreciation

Teachers are the hardest working people I know. You are another parent, friend, coach, mentor, nurse, guidance counselor, janitor, curriculum developer, and motivator, among so other positions.The day is not a simple 7-3, pick up your things and leave. You take your classroom with you everywhere you go. Up late grading papers, calling parents, worrying about that one student, frustrated with the things that keep you from teaching, and struggling to adapt to the changes within the classroom. 

Because you do so much, I am sharing some teacher secrets (that shouldn't be secrets) and  participating in the MASSIVE What Works product/resources giveaway. 
After all, you deserve it. :)

Teacher Secret 1: Partner
The biggest mistake a new teacher, or any teacher for that matter, can make is to try to do it all alone. I have trained new teachers for the past four years and the ones that struggle and end up quitting are the ones who go it alone or who have little/no relationships with other teachers. As a teacher, it is your job to partner with others to get what your students need. If not local teachers, then mentor teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, or even teachers in other schools. Lately, my best partners in education have been the other bloggers I follow. 

Teacher Secret 2: Grow
Like a flower, bloom where you are planted. Despite any obstacles or limitations you may have, there is always an opportunity to grow. This is just as true for new teachers as it is for veterans. The educational landscape, makeup of our classrooms, numbers of students, number of new reforms, and technology available seems to change daily. The only way to survive is to adapt. You could also shut down and do the same thing you have done but kids need more than that. 
At the same time I say grow, I know there is the feeling that there is always something else to do or that I could be doing. Because teaching is a (hopefully for you) long term career, take a long term approach to your develop. Master the basics and then pick 3 projects to grow yourself, your classroom, and your ability to empower students. After you work on the first three, pick another 3. Then another. And another. Resist the urge to use the same lesson plan year in and year out. Although the content doesn't change, your kids do. Reflect deeply on you, your skills, and what your current group of students need to accomplish THEIR dreams. :)

Tips to Grow:

Think deeply about your practice
Film yourself
Watch others teach your same content
Talk to your student and their parents
Find other blogs and follow for great ideas
Join educhats on twitter
Find online professional development
Seek feedback that includes action steps

Teacher Secret 3: Empower
In education, is easy to be carried away by the standards and the looming burden of the state test. You spend all year for three days that drain the lives of you, your students, and your school. Many of the things we do to children is to track their skills and how they compare and not often enough on what they can and should do with those skills. How helpful is it to know your student is on a level G, but he, his parents, and maybe even you don't know what that means for his future and opportunities. Empower your students with the knowledge and skills to advocate for themselves. Teach them to identify problems in the world and how to partner with others in order to solve them. Teaching someone to read is great, but give them the larger purpose for reading. You read to understand the world, the thoughts and experiences of those before you, and to share in the written story of humanity. Similar arguments can be said for science, math, and social studies. Because you can not, and should not, be responsible for all of their learning, empower them to seek their own solutions, dream their own dreams, and set their own goals. In order to do this, you must partner, grow, and focus on empowerment to enable your students to understand their resources, solve their own problems, and make their way in this world.

Hopefully, you enjoyed reading some teacher secrets. There are so many others: have a plan for pencils, having that sub work ready, and being flexible for all of those changes as they come up. Teaching is hard, but let it be harder than it has to be.

Now with tips in hand, get ready to win some free stuff! Remember the more entries you have on the rafflecopter, the more chances you have to win.

Just take a look at everything you could win...One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!

Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon

We aren't finished yet....take a look at everything a second lucky winner will win!!!
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.

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