Monday, November 23, 2015

You Matter! You really do!

Within the first month of school, I received a package in my school mailbox. It was an "award" given to both my husband, Erol and me. (My hubby is also a math teacher!)  The award stated something to the effect that it is noticed that we go above and beyond our duties to help our students.  

With the award were two "Super PI" t-shirts.
One for me and one for my husband. The award was totally anonymous, and still to this day I have no clue who gave it to us. However, it made me feel appreciated. It made me feel like I made a difference. It made me feel like I mattered.

About a month ago, my husband was having a particularly rough day. Nothing seemed to be going right. He did his routine check of his email, and found an email from a fellow French 4 colleague. This colleague wrote to Erol, explaining to him that she had her students give speeches in French. One girl got up and talked about how she hated math until this year. She gave my husband all the credit for making her like math. This particular email made my husband smile, and made him realize that he does make a difference.

Several weeks after that, I was participating in a twitter chat, and I honestly don't remember which one it was. I think it was the #paedchat. We were chatting about what we can do to help our teachers that are in funks right now. How do we help that new teacher continue, or that teacher that is having a rough year? Stacy Lovedahl (@braveneutrino) happened to stop in the chat and introduce me to #edulift and their challenge for the month. The challenge is to lift someone up in teaching, to encourage, to support, and to let them know they matter. 

The last 3 weeks, with the help of my students, I have put "You Matter" note in about 30 teacher's, administrators, custodians, food service, and para professional mailboxes. My students are helping because they are the ones telling me the teachers that matter to them. The little notes just tell the person that they matter to someone, that they do make a difference, and that they are appreciated. I will continue this until every single person gets a "You Matter" note. These are completely anonymous, and I hope it stays that way. (trusting that no one in my school reads my blogs!) 

I also hung You Matter posters in the staff bathrooms. We really do matter to someone! 

So, that is who I am thankful for this year. I am thankful for that anonymous teacher that put that package in my mailbox, for the French teacher that emailed my husband, but Stacy for encouraging me to #edulift my colleagues. I feel that I am much happier person because of it!