To Every Teacher Going Back to Work This Week

Hey teacher,

It’s almost noon on Sunday and I am still in my pajamas sipping from a mug of coffee.

Tomorrow at this time, I will have seen over 85 students, 3 different classes, and will probably even be in real clothes, potentially even with my hair done and not slicked back in a messy ponytail. #ambitious

It seems a little daunting. I don’t even remember how to pack a lunch. Do I really shape young lives for a living?

After two blissful weeks of vacation, holiday and family time, and lots, lots more sleep than I am used to, the thought of walking into my classroom tomorrow, flipping on those lights and welcoming little bodies into my room is enough to make me crawl back into bed.

I can count the number of times I have worn makeup during this break on one hand.  I didn’t use my teacher voice. I didn’t hear “Ms. Wiley” at all, and I didn’t touch a lesson plan.

I watched 17 episodes of “Lock up: Women behind Bars” on Netflix and didn’t set an alarm when I went to bed #lifeontheedge.

I got a flat tire late in the evening, but didn’t have to stress out because it wasn’t a “school night” and I hadn’t set an unrealistic bedtime for myself.

It was wonderful.

But it’s not what I was born to do.

I’m a teacher, and these breaks are absolutely necessary and totally key in our mental, physical and emotional health, but now it’s time to go back.

It’s time to walk back into your classroom and do what you love to do.

Because you do love it.

At the core of what teaching is, you love it.

At the beginning of the year, we are sun-kissed and fully rejuvenated. In September, after a long summer break, our classrooms are organized and our outfits are picked out and that “new school year buzz” circulates around the building.

Heading back to work after Winter Break is a whole different ballgame.

We face the dreaded winter months. The Holidays are over and the only visions dancing in our head are hopes for a snow day…or six.

But still, we press on. It’s time to go back to work.

You see, teacher, you have a high and holy calling on your life.

Through all of the turmoil in the education system, through every long day and working lunch, one thing makes it worth it for me every time: the faces.

 

Forget about the “extras” for a second with me.

Just picture the faces.

The ones of kiddos that even though they wouldn’t admit it, cannot wait to see you tomorrow and have spent break feeling alone and unloved.

The ones that have made you those drawings of unidentified objects on ripped out pieces of lined paper and check back a week later to see if you still have it.

Think of the face of the student that needs an excessive amount of hugs every day because she doesn’t get any at home.

Picture the face of the studious, high achieving student that lives and breathes for school.

Remember what it feels like to read the words of a letter a student wrote you, telling you how much you mean to him/her and how you’re their favorite teacher (who cares if they say it to their teacher every year. It’s your year).

Picture the crocodile tears of a student who can’t handle his emotions and just needs to cry to you because he can’t find his lunch card.

Envision the look a student has on his face when he finally grasps something he has been struggling with for months.

Just for a second, forget about the “other stuff” with me.

Just for today, focus on the faces. The faces of those little, or big, kiddos that you are entrusted with this year.

You mean the world to them. The calling on your life right now is to walk back into your second home, your classroom, and love and teach those kids with everything in you.

It’s exhausting and the days are long. You might go in when the sun hasn’t even risen and go home long after it’s gone down, but you put in those hours because of one reason: love.

Like it or not, school starts again tomorrow, and if I have learned one lesson from my short 5 years of teaching, it is that attitude is everything. I have had days I taught with a horrible attitude, and days I taught with a fantastic attitude.

I bet you can guess which days went well.

Tomorrow we will be tempted to complain to each other about how break was too short and we aren’t ready to be back.

Of course we will miss family time and sleep and being a normal-functioning human, but instead of feeling a little bit of dread or uneasiness about going back tomorrow, let’s face it with excitement.

It’s not a new school year, but it’s a new year. A new start. No matter how the first part of your year went, this is an opportunity to have a fresh slate and begin again.

We will spend the next few months zipping up coats,  tying shoelaces (sometimes wet shoelaces), helping kids find their mittens, giving directions to change from their boots to their gym shoes, counseling friend problems,  taking patient breaths when a student says

“I have a connection…” and oh yeah, teaching.

Remember your calling. Embrace it.

And  if all else fails, text me your coffee order. I do deliveries.

Go change some lives tomorrow. Maybe there will even be a few straggler presents that they forgot to give you before break #dreambigforgiftcards.

We will start the Spring Break Countdown in February and I will hit you with another post for the homestretch πŸ˜‰

And if you need just a LITTLE bit more of a reminder why you should get up tomorrow, check out 11 Reasons Teaching is the BEST! You haven’t lived until you have been told you look like a burnt hotdog.

 

Teach on, Teacher Friend. Start tomorrow with a dance party.

 

Would love to hear from you! I am treasuring EVERY single message, comment and post from people all across the country. My little blog has been shared all over, and my heart gets a little fuller with each message and story I hear. I would just love to hear from you. Teaching is the best family. 

Email: jennawiley@yahoo.com

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Third graders know exactly how to write encouragement cards.

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You heard the girl! Reach your heart out and be a diamond!

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And never forget to reach for the stars for your life!

135 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautifully written.It will be a shock to the system wearing make up tomorrow and getting up at 6.00am !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jennakay says:

      Amen! We can do it!!! What is 6:00 am????????????

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Peggy says:

      Thank you! Exactly what I needed to hear tonight! You made me laugh and cry. SPOT ON!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jennakay says:

        Laugh and cry! I will take it πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment, Peggy! Have a great week!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rhonda says:

    This is great! Happy New Year and let’s go make a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jennakay says:

      Yes!!!! Let’s do this!!!

      Like

  3. Lisa says:

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. As Kid President says ‘Make the World more Awesome’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. jennakay says:

      Yes!!! Good luck tomorrow and thanks for reading!!

      Like

  4. Thank you for being so positive during a time when it’s so easy to be negative! Have a great day tomorrow with those 85+ babies of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you so much for reading! And same to you!!

      Like

  5. Jess says:

    Amen! Tomorrow marks a new start for my class and I! It’s been a rough year and we all needed a break but I am excited about the chance to start over… even if that start is earlier than I have woken up in nearly two weeks. ❀ and I like 1/4 creamer to vanilla coffee. πŸ˜‰ If only you were close enough for that delivery!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Amen, sister!! Best of luck with your class…I love a new beginning. Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Kelsey Emery says:

    I love everything about this. Thanks for getting me pumped up for a job that I love to do! Can’t wait to get back at it tomorrow.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Have an amazing day tomorrow, teacher friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Matt J says:

    Awesome article! It (almost) makes me excited to go into school tomorrow! πŸ˜›

    Christian teachers unite!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you for reading, Matt! Yes, Christian teachers unite indeed πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. frostkm says:

    Reblogged this on Exchanging Ordinary and commented:
    needed this today. For any other teacher friends.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you!!! The Sunday night blues are the worst. Good luck tomorrow teacher friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Aubrie Lehr says:

    Stumbled across your blog via Facebook and can totally relate to this post (AND most of your New Year’s resolution post….seriously, how do I leave that many dishes in my back seat?!). Anyways, from one teacher to another, have a good semester and thanks so much for the encouragement.

    Love – a fellow Spanish teacher and lover of Jesus

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I am SO glad you stumbled across it and commented. Sounds like we have a lot in common, girlfriend πŸ˜‰ I washed an apple today so I am feeling pretty good about myself!! Haha good luck tomorrow, teacher friend!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. lesliejayne says:

    Hi! We’ve never met but we have a handful of mutual friends (my brother went to ONU with you I think- his name is Chuck) and I couldn’t resist saying I LOVE your blog! Especially this one since I’m a teacher too! Fortunately, my school has a teacher work day tomorrow so I’m planning on just shutting my door and napping..Ha I wish! πŸ™‚ Good luck with the rest of your year & keep writing!!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Yes! I played on a very competitive (sarcasm) sand volleyball team with Chuck! Ha…and lived with Lindsey and the whole crew. Thank you SO much for the comment. It seriously means the world to me. Totally jealous of the work day…But you still have to face the alarm…

      Like

      1. lesliejayne says:

        Yes okay phew I’m not crazy! I knew there was some connection there! So cool to see your blog shared by all my Indy teacher friends! Can’t wait to read more!!

        Like

      2. jennakay says:

        Tonight has been crazy!!!! I can’t keep up…enjoying my 15 minutes of fame πŸ˜‰

        Like

  11. Well said, Jenna! You speak the truth! And, I did picture the faces πŸ˜‰ Happy New Year πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I am picturing some of those stinkers right now πŸ™‚ happy new year, girlfriend!

      Like

  12. You speak the truth, girl! I did picture those faces πŸ˜‰ Happy New Year!

    Like

  13. Kaycee says:

    Your words had been an encouragement to me and many of my colleagues this evening. Thank you for sharing! Go get ’em tomorrow πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you so much Kaycee!! Your words mean so much to me….go rock it out tomorrow!!!! And get some good sleep…hopefully! Sunday night sleeps are the worst!!

      Like

  14. tgilbert217 says:

    This was exactly what I needed as I lay in my bed with some tears in my eyes. It’s my first year and I’m teaching 3rd grade in an inner city school. It’s been a roller coaster so far. But I really am going to go in there and stay positive. Good luck tomorrow!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I am so, so, so glad. I have had tears in my eyes on and off all night. It really is a roller coaster profession, and I have so much respect for you all in the inner city schools. I know you hear it all the time, but those kids need you more than ever. Stay strong and know you are SO valued and appreciated!!! Even when it doesn’t feel like it.

      Like

      1. Monica says:

        I am not a teacher, but these responses had me in tears! Happy tears that is. I am a child therapist and I love to see how far a little encouragement goes! Picturing those kiddos 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. jennakay says:

        Thank YOU so much for working with the little loves that need help the most! Your job is so connected to teaching and your work in kiddo’s lives makes so much of a difference in our classrooms. Thank you, Monica! And grown-up therapy is pretty great too! πŸ˜‰ haha Have a great week!

        Like

    1. jennakay says:

      thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Laura says:

    A friend of mine shared your post, as I’m a middle school teacher. However, I won’t be returning to school tomorrow as I’m exactly half way through my 8 weeks of maternity leave! I will come back to this post in February when I’m preparing myself for the HUGE transition back to school with a baby at home. Thank you for your encouragement!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Hey Laura!! I just had a colleague text me earlier (she is due in February with her baby) and asked me to write one for mommies going back to work after maternity leave. It will be a transition but I hope you treasure your time at home and leave school at school πŸ˜‰ thank you for your comment and support of my post!!!

      Like

  16. Kimberly says:

    Jenna, I just read this when my BFF (and fellow teacher) posted it on FB. I wish I could hug you right now. I’m in my 31st year of teaching elementary school and can’t tell you how much I needed to hear your wise, wonderful, uplifting words. I actually have a very sweet class this year, yet I still feel overwhelmed, constantly “behind”, and forget to focus on their faces. I’m not “ready” for tomorrow AT ALL meaning lesson plans, my classroom, the still unfinished work and projects I (stupidly) brought home yet again to do on vacay (because this old dog doesn’t ever learn new tricks but always says she will). But I’m going to reread your letter tomorrow morning. I’m going to dig deep to find the love, the reason I chose this career, and I’m just going to use the first day back to enjoy them and their darling faces. Thank you and bless you. Happy 2016!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Kimberly, I am SO glad you commented and read my little blog! I have SO much to learn after only 4 years of teaching, and have incredible amounts of respect for veteran teachers who continue to spread so much love, when I can’t imagine how their tanks aren’t empty for giving so of themselves for so much of their lives! I admire and am so excited by your response. It was one of my favorites I have read all night. Enjoy your little sweeties tomorrow!

      Like

  17. MacKenzie says:

    This is amazing. I pictured each of the kiddos you described sitting in their little desks tomorrow. Thank you for your words of encouragement, they invigorated my “teacher heart” that was beating a little more slowly today πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I had a little face in my mind with every description, and I am so glad you did too. Thank you for the comment and reading my little blog. Hopeful for a restful night for you:) so much teacher love!

      Like

  18. Grace B says:

    I actually laughed out loud at the “I have a connection” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Thank you for this post. As a first year teacher I needed some inspiration!! Can’t wait to see my babies bright and early. ☺️

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      The dreaded….”I have a connection…” hahaha I pray silently every time I hear those words. Lord give me strength!!!! Have fun with your little babes!

      Like

  19. Amy Craig says:

    Oh my word, you are hilarious! I was just sitting on my couch contemplating quitting my job tomorrow because I really am not ready to go back, but your post had me giggling about it. Thanks for writing it. Here’s to an awfully early morning tomorrow!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Ahh, thank you soo much!!! Sunday night teacher anxiety is the WORST. I am SO glad to get connected with teachers all over the world and share in this together! You are amazing…thank you for your comment ❀

      Like

  20. Cheryl says:

    Definitely needed this! Good to know it’s not just us “veteran” teachers that feel this way!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I was hoping I was not alone in my “Sunday Night Blues”…Have an awesome day tomorrow πŸ™‚

      Like

  21. Julia says:

    I totally needed this as I’m laying in bed trying to go to sleep, but afraid I won’t hear my alarm go off in the morning!! We are all in this together! Good luck tomorrow!! Thanks!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I am So with you! Laying in bed now…not close to sleeping though! lol Have a great day tomorrow, Julia!

      Like

  22. Jen says:

    Thank you so much for this. This is the first comment I’ve ever left on a blog of a person I did not know. I am writing this because I felt compelled to tell you that I actually felt like some of my anxiety over the next two months melted away as I was reading. I’m a different kind of teacher from you, a dance teacher teaching in a studio and different local schools and organizations. January and February are the most hectic months with the longest hours of the year. So thank you for reminding me why we do this. And for making me laugh about texting you a coffee order =) I appreciate it so much! Have a great first day back and know that when your kids are on the bus, my colleagues and I are about to start the afternoon/evening shift with those kids =)

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Jen, I am SO glad you commented and reached out to me. I can only imagine the impact you have on those sweet kids that get to express themselves through dance. I often try to remember that what is “just another day” for me is often the absolutely highlight for some kiddos…especially those who love dance and love you. Stay strong, girlfriend. And keep the coffee flowing! Don’t be one of those heroes that gives it up for a new year resolution! No time for that! lol

      Like

      1. Jen says:

        Wow! I’m so flattered that you replied so quickly! I posted, then read all of the previous comments and had a few laughs and a tear in my eye and here you are replying! Not to worry…my Starbucks run (using a student’s gift card) will be around 5ish Monday night. I won’t be giving that up right away=)

        Like

  23. Denise says:

    I truly enjoyed what you wrote. I’m a Resource Specialist and teach Special Ed students K-6. I am looking forward to seeing the all tomorrow, hearing their stories, laughing with them and getting back to our business in the next day or two. It has been a tough but great year. Here’s to a new year and a great journey to the end of our school year.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I have Spanish K-6, so I know the joys and challenges of having such a large age range! Have an amazing day tomorrow with your lucky kids that get to have you! Tough but great. I like that πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment, Denise! Have a great day!

      Like

  24. Neri Rodriguez says:

    Thank you sweet lady. This encouragement is just what I needed. My uniform is all ironed for the next two weeks. I have things relatively together to be picked up and taken to the car in the morning. I am in Florida so no snow days but Martin Luther Kings Birthday Observation is just around the corner and shortly thereafter a teacher (training) workday. I remember my professors, mentors, and colleagues and look forward to implementing gems they have shared with me. I am excited for the faces, not the work disciplining the unruly ones but so looking forward to hearing about their vacation adventures. Mine was spent much like yours, resting. I cooked dinner and baked something today. Thanks again sweet lady. May the rest of your year be blessed.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you so much for the comment!! My sister teaches Kindergarten in Ft. Myers and is always jealous of the snow days! Sounds like you had a nice relaxing break. Have a wonderful day tomorrow…through all the ups and downs of our profession πŸ™‚

      Like

  25. gidoxblog says:

    Nicely written, truth as it is.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you:) Have a great week back!

      Like

  26. Emily says:

    My parents are both teachers and I must say a lot of this sounds familiar! I hope the start of term goes smoothly for you πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      I was born into a family of educators, too πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment and the well wishes!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Amanda says:

    It’s all about the love! Thanks for pep talk! Have a great first day back!!!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Yes ! All about the love πŸ™‚ I had a great and busy day back. Hope yours was awesome!!! Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  28. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. My heart is full this morning and ready to see 20 beautiful kiddos and be God’s light and love to them! I am so blessed to have this calling.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you so much for the comment. Those 20 precious babes are lucky to have you πŸ™‚ Hope you had a great day!

      Like

  29. Tracy MCarthy says:

    Beautifully written! I related to, and appreciate every word – except that part about February break. LOL – States that are further south don’t get one. I used to live in NY State, so I do remember it though. πŸ˜„

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Ohhh the February break and snow days are going to be much more appreciated by me now πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the comment and encouragement, Tracy!

      Like

  30. Stacey says:

    Loved this read..I so believe in trying to stay positive for our precious students!! I teach primary special education (Inclusion), and love it! The “ups and downs” of education does seem to be so overwhelming some days…I am now drinking lots of coffee and preparing for the day back to school…😁 have a kick booty awesome year!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Yeahhhh Stacey! Coffee and booty kicking! Sounds like an amazing Monday πŸ˜‰ I LOVE my job too…I teach Spanish K-6th so I am insanely busy during the day, but get spared a lot of the extras and craziness that most of my teacher friends deal regularly. But MAN they are tiring days! Hope you had an amazing day back with tons of figurative booty kickin πŸ˜‰

      Like

  31. Joan Teague says:

    Having taught school for 35 years I know the feeling(s) well. I’ve been retired for seven years now and still think of those heading back to school each end of summer and each end of holiday break. I know your profession makes such a difference; it is truly a noble calling. You are someone who touches hundreds of lives and leaves a mark on each. I see and hear from students often and am surprised at how fondly they remember me and my class until I think back (oh so many years) to my days as a student and realize I still remember almost all of my teachers. Teachers do make a difference so put on your smile and face the day; let’s hope it’s a great one.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Joan, this is amazing! I think I might have to share some of these inspiring comments with my staff. Thank you for 35 years of touching young lives and for empowering and encouraging all of us in the field now. Your perspective is so very good. I still remember each and every one of my teachers, and remembering that is so important. Thank you for your words, friend!

      Like

  32. Robin says:

    Thank you for the honest and heartfelt words. I was looking for the right words to share with my teacher friends and one of them shared these with us!!! Just beautiful and perfect! I couldn’t sleep last night, so I am going on little sleep, but through Christ I can do all things!! May you and all our educator friends have a blessed day and fill some sweet little hearts with plenty of love and encouragement.
    Robin

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you so much for reading, Robin! I could not sleep last night either. I am in year 4, but I hear that it doesn’t get any better as the years go on as far as being anxious the night before. And you are so very right- Jesus and coffee. Jesus and coffee πŸ™‚ Thanks for the sweet post!

      Like

  33. Hayden says:

    Beautifully written Jenna! Even though our school years are different over here in Australia, this was just the little motivator I needed to overcome my fear of entering the classroom as a graduate for the very first time today! πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Australia?? That is SO awesome. I love the internet. Knock them dead today! Thank you so much for commenting and encouraging. Congratulations on joining the best, craziest profession in the world πŸ™‚ We love you!

      Like

  34. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed this so much this morning. Our school is starting a new semester with a new principal. Our beloved principal was moved suddenly and unexpectedly the day before winter break. We are nervous and anxious about the future. This was so healing for me. I shared with the rest of my faculty. Looking at it as a fresh start…change is hard. Your words have blessed many teachers today.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Deborah, this is one of the best comments I have gotten. Thank you SO much for sharing a part of your story. I am honored to be a part of an amazing teacher community, and am thrilled my words were able to encourage others. This comment meant the world to me. Change is so incredibly hard. Hang in there guys! Thank you so much for reading and hope to see you back here again πŸ™‚

      Like

  35. Jaguilar says:

    Just what I needed to going this morning! Thanks!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank YOU for reading πŸ™‚ Come back again!

      Like

  36. Lauri says:

    Thanks for the pep talk! OMW in 5 minutes, dressed, lunch packed and make up on, Happy 2016!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Dang girl! You are good!!! Hope you had an amazing day!!! Thanks for the comment and for reading πŸ™‚

      Like

  37. Kristina Simpson says:

    Thank you for these words.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Hey Kristina! You are SO welcome πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading and commenting. Have a great week!!

      Like

  38. Anni Russell says:

    I had a friend post your blog to Facebook and it is exactly what I needed to hear as I got ready to head back! I’m excited to continue reading your candid encouragement.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Hey Anni! Thank you so much πŸ™‚ It was a long and busy day, but we made it! Thank you for reading and I hope you come back and stay connected. I have LOVED having the opportunity to meet and talk to so many new people in the amazing teacher community and beyond πŸ™‚ Have an awesome week!

      Like

  39. nancymcneal says:

    I’m a retired teacher, sister of a retired teacher, daughter-in-law of a retired teacher, mom of a teacher, aunt of teachers, and admirer of all who have this “high and holy calling!” Thank you and bless you. I’m praying for all of you today. ❀

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Nancy, thank you SO much! It sounds like teaching is in your blood! I am the same way…Grandpa…Uncle…Mom….both sisters….most cousins πŸ™‚ A family of educators. Thank you for your sweet words and prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Kristi H says:

    I love this blog! Today has been a roller coaster of emotions! I work with kids grades 9-12 that need extra help. I love my job but I miss being at home with my family too! It was a great 2 weeks off but I’m glad to be back on schedule really. (So tired though)

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Hey Kristi!! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. A roller coaster of emotions is perfectly said. I LOVE routine…but routine that started with an alarm clock I wanted to throw across the room. I hope you and your kids had a great day today…I have elementary kids now but loved my time with High school kids during my student teaching years ago πŸ™‚

      Like

  41. h2ofeo2 says:

    I “Get” this so much…I retired as a speech pathologist a few years ago but felt “worthless” so went back and am now working with special needs preschoolers. Love it although 41 years will probably be enough for me! Keep on teaching!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Oh wow! My sister works as a Special needs preschool teacher. Such a noble and important calling you have!! Thank you so much for the comment and reading. The encouragement means a lot! I am on year 4…41 years is amazing!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Patti says:

    Just got back from my first day back… I’m exhausted. I opened Facebook and found this posted/shared by my school principal. What great words.. Praise and optimistic approach. I really needed this today and really am feeling better already. Thanks πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      It was certainly an exhausting day. I am so, so glad this was an encouragement to you. I have had to read my own words a few times because it is TOUGH to stay positive in this job…but so worth it. Thank you so much for reading and the comment, Patti! Have a great rest of the week

      Like

  43. Pam says:

    So many truths in your post! I’m retired and get to stay home every day now, but I treasure the memories of those days with my kids. I loved it when a child would FINALLY get fractions, when we would have a fun and interesting history lesson that they really got in to, when their angelic singing at the Christmas program brought tears to my eyes, or the science experiment worked exactly right the first time! Now that many of my former students are grown and have children of their own, the comment I get the most is how much they loved that I read to them every day after lunch. Many of them say that that was their beginning of a love of reading for enjoyment, or love of a certain series of books I read to them. So always make time to just read to your students! Enjoy your time with them, it will go all too fast!

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Pam, thank you so much for your post and just awesome perspective of a retired, veteran teacher. I find myself just wishing the days away sometimes, but you are SO right about those little moments that kids remember and even change their lives. It sounds like you were an absolutely amazing teacher. Thank you for the years you put in and for taking the time to encourage teachers like me πŸ™‚

      Like

  44. Susan Fudge says:

    Thank you for the beautiful blog post…it is so true. Teachers everywhere can identify. I teach Grade 1 on an island called Newfoundland in Canada and I can totally identify…it sooo not just a ‘job’

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Thanks for the comment Susan!! I grew up in Port Huron MI right across the bridge from Sarnia, Canada..but something tells me you are nowhere near there! lol. Hope you had a great day with your first graders and thank you so much for reading

      Like

  45. Heather says:

    Nice to hear this perspective. It is a mixture of emotions of sadness to leave flexibility and choices with my family to serve others. It is great to be reminded of why we sacrifice so much. Thank you.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      Definitely a mixture of emotions. Thank you so much for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

      Like

  46. Debra says:

    I teach 7th grade. There is a student in my class right now that has been in multiple foster homes and schools. I was very worried when I learned of her background. She has been an angel. She draws me pictures (unusual for 7th grade) and leaves me special items on my desk. Right before break she left me a braided piece of yarn that looks like a ponytail. I wore that “ponytail” on ugly sweater day and won the $5 gift card. She noticed that I had worn her special gift. She had tears in her eyes that I thought it was special. She made it because she learned that I crocheted. The human side of me would like some more time in pjs with my kids. But my heart knows…she needs me. Along with so many others, she needs me. I smile because I know in that little life, I am making a difference. That is why I am ready for tomorrow. For this little girl and all those with stories of need. I love being a teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jennakay says:

      This is one of my favorite teacher stories I have ever heard. That is so precious and so special and you are absolutely changing that sweet girl forever with your love and dedication. Thank you for sharing – you have blessed me!

      Like

  47. Alison says:

    How do you know my students? With every description I saw one of my students’ faces. Love…we first chose this profession (at least I did) because of the love I felt for the children who need those hugs and a smile for no reason….the love I feel for the student who makes a connection with a previous lesson and the current lesson…and the sweet student who is always trying to help his stressed out teacher who’s making her way through her 1st year teaching 1st grade, and so far everybody is still intact. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your beautiful vision of my returning students tomorrow. I will make sure I take a few extra patient breathes tomorrow and remember that each of them is someone’s baby and they are loved…especially by me.

    Like

    1. jennakay says:

      This post gave me goosebumps. Those sweet little first graders are so lucky to have you. I teach Spanish, so I get the first graders once a day for 50 minutes….and I LOVE them…but I am always ready to send them back to their classroom teacher! They know how to wipe a sister out! Thank you for everything you do and for taking the time to visit and post on my site. Have a great rest of the week πŸ™‚

      Like

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