Teachers Make a Difference!

May 5, 2017 / by Lisa Hollenbach

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a
difference in our lives.”

-- John F. Kennedy

It’s The Little Things

A thank-you note or a kind word -- even a simple smile goes a long way for a teacher. We often underestimate the influence of the little things or think what we have to offer is so insignificant -- what’s the point?

But I know teachers who cherish notes from students scribbled on scrap paper and well up with tears when one of their “kids” says thanks. It's just as powerful when this kind of everyday recognition comes from parents, colleagues, or administrators.

But It’s Also The Big Things

One day, even one week, is simply not enough to honor and thank teachers for the work they do every day with their heart -- their students -- at the center. Gratitude is great and teachers appreciate every kind word and nod of recognition, no matter how small. However, we know that genuine, meaningful appreciation is reflected by action, not merely words, tweets, or a spread of treats in the faculty lunchroom.

Real appreciation recognizes teachers as experts and trusts them to make decisions that best serve their students.

Real appreciation gives teachers autonomy in their classrooms and choice and voice in their professional learning experiences.

Real appreciation gives teachers a seat at the table and a voice in policy conversations and that voice is valued, respected, and thoughtfully considered.

At Teaching Channel, we know that teaching is one of the toughest, most demanding, most frustrating, most complex... most inspiring, most rewarding, most important careers in the world.

Teaching is difficult because it's intuitive, and sometimes invisible. It’s the simultaneous expression of excitement, empathy, encouragement, expectation, and exhaustion. It’s almost impossible to quantify -- and you make it look easy.

Topics: Professional Learning, Motivation

Lisa Hollenbach

Written by Lisa Hollenbach

Lisa Hollenbach is a former high school Social Studies teacher and Department Chair, an adjunct professor, working with pre-service social studies teachers and behavioral science students, and serves as a mentor for the Teacher Leadership program at Mt. Holyoke College. Lisa is passionate about storytelling, teacher voice and leadership, collaboration, innovative instruction, social learning, and redefining professional development. Lisa is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Teacher Advisory Council, several ECET2 Steering Committees, and is a Co-Founder, Director, and Writing Coach for the National Blogging Collaborative, a non-profit organization that cultivates and supports the capacity of all educators to use their unique voice to elevate the craft of teaching and learning. Lisa leads the Collaborative in engagement and social media storytelling. Connect with Lisa on Teaching Channel, on her blog, or on Twitter: @lisa_hollenbach.

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