I know you know all this, but I am here to remind you of something.
You dear teacher, and your big beautiful smile are all that those kids need in your classroom today.
And maybe a little bit of time for each of them to be heard.
I'm heading back into the classroom soon as summer winds back and am finding a ton of inspiration online for fabulous creative classroom ideas. It is beautiful and completely natural to see the full scope of society reflected in these images. Comparison is the thief of joy. It takes time to be able to appreciate what you see in other classrooms. It you do though, amazing things can happen, the beauty and success of other classrooms can be PART of your journey as a teacher. When you appreciate something, it becomes inextricably linked to you and your growth.
If you have to look at photos of classrooms filled with rows of iMacs while you are still wrangling ancient machines that are slow to load... know that is doesn't really matter.
If you look at photos of highly polished floors and neat straight rows of gorgeous desks while you have to print cutesy pictures from downloaded pdf files to cover the holes in the haven't-been-painted-in-20-years wall of your classroom... know that it doesn't really matter.
If you have to look at photos of modern coordinated storage units and storerooms and you have an odd arrangement of mismatched bins, trays or containers that were only cool in the 1970s.....and zero budget to buy new ones... know that it doesn't really matter.
If you have windows that don't open, a door hanging on its last hinge, stained stinky carpet and disintegrating shelves that, upon moving leave a trail of sawdust across the floor.... know that none of it really matters.
To your students, your room can be extraordinary.
Talk to your students like they are the most important little beings ever put on the planet, tell them that you love the classroom you share with them and that amazing things will happen there.
You will make the difference. The only important difference. They won't notice any of the other stuff if you are what engages them.
Wonderful people, some of who will change the world have come out of the poorest and plainest classrooms, and they deserve the best of YOU!