Monday, November 25, 2013

A Letter to My Colleagues

Two Writing Teachers
Over the past year I have come across several blogs where teachers have written about why they became a teacher or why they stay in education.  At the beginning of the year, I sent out an email asking my colleagues that same question, thinking I would use it someday as a possible post.

I did not get much of a response, but most of the responses I did receive were from the teachers who are in our small Bible Study Group which meets every Tuesday morning.  I shouldn't have been surprised!  Many times this group keeps me going throughout the day, or sometimes even the week, with their support, encouragement, and positive attitudes.

Today, I write a letter to them, thanking them for their dedication, their inspiration, and simply for just being the positive people who I am blessed to be around each day.

My Dear Colleague,

Being a teacher in today's world is definitely a challenge.  I am sure many of you have asked yourself why do I stay?  How can I continue at this pace?  Why do I teach? 

Today, I hope to give you an answer.

You teach because you believe in the power of a smile.  At the end of the day, I see you with a smile on your face even after...
  • you were late for school because you changed what you were going to wear five times and you still thought it wasn't right,
  • your own children were bears on the way out of the house, 
  • you changed your lesson plans at the last minute, 
  • you went to the copy machine and it was broke again...or there was no toner...or paper,
  • your objectives weren't in the right place...or the right size...or the right color,
  • and you got evaluated for the second time this month!
You teach because you believe in the term positivity.  You see the positive things that happen in your classroom on a daily basis.  You get through the behavior issues, the student who consistently comes in late, the tattling, the talkativeness and still believe every day is a Friday.  You see the positive in every student, in every situation, in every new day.

You teach because you believe each child can learn - no matter their ability.  You always strive to get them to the next step, to make progress...even those who cannot write their name, read at grade level or get through the day without throwing a fit...or a chair.

You teach because you have a big heart.  You understand each child and the problems they face at home.  You give them a place to feel safe and to be loved.  A place with you, a place where those problems do not exist.

You teach because you believe in children.  To you, every child matters.  

You give them confidence 
          to try something new, 
               to not be afraid to try again, 
                    to have dreams, 
                         to reach goals they never thought were possible.

You teach NOT because you choose to, but because you were chosen...and that my friend makes all the difference.

Thank you for being my colleague,
Leigh Anne


  1. Wonderful post Leigh Ann...
    I didn't set out to teach. It wasn't glamorous enough for me. Law had my interest, that was until I worked in a school in Rochester and I was hooked! Just shutting the door and connecting with a group of kids, any group... ahhh... I miss that now.

  2. This is beautiful. What a wonderful week to read it. We loved meeting you in person. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Clare and Tammy

  3. I guess when you stick to it even when it's hard and most others wouldn't, it is because you've been chosen Hadn't thought about it that way. Thank you!

  4. Wonderful to read your tribute to your colleagues, Leigh Anne-very special words, and love that quote at the end-true, true! Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. This was written from the heart and it takes a lot of heart to be a teacher these days. What a blessing you are for your colleagues!

  6. I wish I had received this letter from someone in my school - such positive and powerful words! Happy Thanksgiving, Leigh Anne!

  7. A small Bible study group before school?!? Sounds heavenly! Wishing I was one of the teachers in your school. Thank you for sharing this letter and for the reminders included. Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to you!

  8. I second Tara's words: I wish someone at my school would /could write a letter with such encouraging words. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  9. This is a beautiful tribute to your colleagues, and also a great reminder to us all. I think it gets so hard on some days - we do forget why we ever started teaching in the first place. Thanks for reminder!

  10. Your colleagues are blessed to hear such words of affirmation from you. Even when I get overwhelmed and frustrated with the issues swirling around education these days, I come back to make a difference for my kids in my classroom.

  11. I love the part about the smile at the end of the day even after...

  12. Your words had me nodding my head as I saw myself in many of those same situations. Thanks for a beautiful reminder of why we open the door each day and invite the students in!

  13. Wonderful writing. I hope that your colleagues appreciate it as much as I and your other blog readers. Big heart.
    Happy Thanksgiving.