It's Time to Refresh

 It's time to REFRESH!! This is the start of a new year and many educators didn't enter the school year FRESH.  

F- Free From Stress

R- Relaxed

E- Energized

S- Sure of Themselves 

H- Hopeful

While this is true for many, my blog aims to invigorate those educators that need a little freshening up. Stay tuned for more tips from Teach Them Hope.  


New Year, New Goals…


What is the promise of the New Year for our students?  As we begin the second full year of the pandemic, we know what you expect in terms of safety, but we aren’t able to determine the possible ramifications of this setback for our students.  The New Year rarely brings a “new you” and it rarely produces a “new student”.  However, it can produce new and more informed goals.  Consider the goals that you have for your students as you enter the upcoming reentry.  What are they?  How will they impact learning?  How will they benefit your students?  If these answers are tangible, you are on the right track.  If they are abstract, consider making them tangible.  Consider working towards a goal that you can measure with your students.  We should strive for less of a “New Year, New You” mentality and more of a “New Year, New Goals” outlook on education.  Our return to the building might look different than we expected because of the new variant, but our “goals” don’t have to suffer. 

Do Not Be Silent


This school year has come with a swift message, all hands need to be on deck!  As I begin to check on the educators in my life, the central message is that they are overwhelmed.  As a seasoned educator,  I can confirm that this term is often used, but not in this way.  During the pandemic, the word overwhelming has been used in almost every discussion.  It’s okay to be overwhelmed.  The hope is that circumstances will change before you decide to make a “change”.  However overwhelmed you are, please don’t remain silent!  Talk to your teams.  Express your need for help or time.  This is essential to protecting your energy and preserving your peace.  Allow the words, “I need help” to reach other’s ears as well.  We are all in this together.  Experience the emotion and reach out for help.  Do not sit silently during this time.  We are here to help.  Transparency is key to understanding that this year will only be as successful as time and energy will allow.  We’ve got this, we just need to work as a team to get through this. 

We Made it Make Sense


Educators, we made it to the finish line!  The 2020-2021 school year was certainly one for the books.  The blogging was on hold so that the work could begin, continue and progress without fail. is alive and well.  Our regular monthly blogging schedule will resume.  Teachers were tired, teachers worked hard and teachers made it.  Let’s take a moment and celebrate that!  I’ll see you in a few weeks!!


Discovering How to Create a Season of Gratitude


During this season, many will think of the things that have changed, but I am thinking of the things that have remained the same.  As we begin to move into the winter months, our students will leave the virtual walls and spend a few uninterrupted weeks with their families, as always.  During a traditional school year, teachers would prepare for the breaks with activities aimed and making students aware of reasons for the season.

As an educational community we have experienced loss in so many ways and these losses have created opportunities for conversations.  However, these conversations were not supported with the face to face interventions that educators know all so well.  During this season, we must push gratitude instead of despair.  We cannot acknowledge the many losses without turning to the things that make us grateful as well. Instead we should focus on the ideas that are cause for thanks.  Some may feel it is difficult to focus on thanks when we are looking at all of the challenges both inside and outside the virtual walls of our classroom but similar to the previous post, sometimes you have to focus on the positive.  The positives in this case are the things that we can be thankful for and the things that are cause for gratitude. 

Gratitude isn’t forced and shouldn’t be, it should be modeled.  By beginning our day with thankfulness, our students will begin to do the same.  In this season, we have to do something different.  That something different should be rooted in the idea of gratefulness and gratitude.  Seasons change, but some things remain the same.  There is always a reason to be thankful and as responsible educators we can help our students find their thankfulness in this season.  It may seem like a lofty goal, but gratitude never goes out of style. 

Hope is a discipline…


The future of our children rests in the hands and hearts of the folks teaching them day in and day out.  During this time of uncertainty, we are responsible for educating children by meeting them where they are.  Though the location varies, consistency lies in the educational journey of our students.  We establish that consistency through practice. Hope is the only aspect of this journey that the students can attach themselves to.  Teaching students about hope affords them the opportunity to understand that their dreams are attainable and rooted in discipline.  They learn discipline by experiencing it.  This is a necessary part of their journey and must be practiced.  My blogs are shorter during the pandemic in an effort to get right to the point.  My point is plain and simple:  Hope is a discipline and when we teach our students about hope, we are teaching them how to make dreams come true.  As we begin our journey this year, don’t forget to include hope; it’s essential. 



I'm Glad You're Here!!


Happy Virtual Teaching!  I know may of us are on a virtual track for a few weeks and there are a few that are starting back face to face.  Wherever you are and however you are receiving your students, I know you are receiving them with love and patience.  As we begin this journey, or continue it, let us remember a few things.  Reminding our students that we are happy to see them is the most inspiring thing we can do.  They struggle and jump over so many hurdles to get to school, just as we do.  Imagine if someone stood at the door and greeted you each morning.  Now imagine if that greeting was warm, genuine, and involved some variation of “I’m glad you are here.”  It is my hope that as we begin greeting our babies, we let them know how happy we are to see them.  That is really all they’ve been waiting for.  Have an amazing year. 

Inhale, Exhale

 Many educators have started the school year, and many more will begin in the coming days.  As we navigate the virtual halls of our new normal, we have so many things to consider.  In the 22 weeks since we have seen our students, they have gone through so much.  This includes the pandemic, the social unrest throughout the country, the political warfare and lastly, isolation.  There are so many ways to approach the various topics discussed above, but we must be what we want to see in our students.  What we exhale is what they will inhale.  As we begin to discuss how to move forward as a community, work diligently to include your students in that conversation.  Processes and procedures are important, but it is equally important to address our student's questions, calm their fears and pour positivity back into their spirits.  We are not saying “hello” to our students as we have in years past.  Their eyes will have so many more stories to tell and it’s important to read your “virtual” room and understand that compassion is going to get us farther than our lesson plans ever will.  Be observant, be patient, but most of all be kind.  Our kids will need very bit of our positivity! 

What are your Expectations?

I usually blog on nuggets of wisdom that I encounter during the week or month.  Today’s topic seems to be right on target with what is happening in and around us during this time.  My Sunday sermon referenced expecting things of God, but I would like to discuss what we expect of ourselves during this very uncertain time.

Teachers have been the topic of so much conversation over the last few months.  As boards and governing bodies discuss the opening of schools across the country, the expectation is that student learning will be negatively impacted by distance learning. 

The Rosenthal-Jacobson Study argues that:  High expectations lead to improved performance.  I have never heard the scientific term for what we in education have normalized as “high expectations lead to greater outcomes and low expectations lead to lower outcomes”.  This term is a mainstay in an educator’s toolbox.  For these reasons, we are drawn to the idea that we must expect so much more from our students so they can produce amazing results.  However, what expectations do we have for ourselves?

Many districts are battling with having educators come into the building to teach instead of working from home.  This method is lauded as the most effective way to increase productivity.  The expectation is that educators can/will be more productive within the walls of the school. However, following the guise of the R-J Study, shouldn’t the expectations be that wherever we are, we will rise to the challenge of educating our children with the same level of excellence? 

Years from now, we will dissect these moments and hopefully, they will be some of the most innovative of our careers. However, while we are in the midst of this challenging landscape called education, I encourage you to expect excellent outcomes daily.  When we expect them from ourselves, we will surely receive them from our students.  Enjoy this school year and make it one for the history books, as it surely will be.