Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Starfish Story--Show a Teacher Some Love

As we celebrate all educators out there today for Teacher Appreciation Week, I am reminded of my favorite story that reenergizes me on one of THOSE DAYS. You know what I am talking about. The type of day where Murphy's law is just a little too on point--anything that can go wrong, does. It starts first thing in the morning when you spill your coffee down the front of you. Peachy. A little bit in a tizz, you head to the copy room only to discover that yes, not one but BOTH copy machines are down--one is giving you that incessant angry beeping sound while the other one displays the message blinking at no less than 13 different locations on the copier cuing you to open up every single door and compartment to play the loved-by-all game of "Find the Jammed Paper!" Unamused, you decide to send all copies of your morning work to the computer printer (even though you know this is frowned upon), but alas! The printer is out of toner. Fine, the kids will have to survive on this semi-educational (and I use semi- generously here) worksheet preprinted in case you should have a sub. Now, you will have to replace that too. Oh well. Following your own teacher advice when your students need some anger management guidance, you take three deep breaths, tell yourself "I got this!" and put on your smiling face to greet your kiddos at the door. Within the first 10 minutes of arrival, a bowl of cereal and milk has been spilled by Hannah all over Jeremiah's homework, Billy gets a bloody nose, Marcus can't find his beloved green pen, Ashonna is in tears because of loosing her star bracelet on the walk to school, Justin needs to call home because he forgot his field trip permission slip that was due yesterday, Michael is itchy from several mosquito bites, Caroline has already "asked 3 before me" and has been waiting now patentiently calling out your name at 20 second intervals for the past several mintues... HOW HAVE ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED AND IT IS ONLY 8:15?!!!! AND WHY AM I YELLING?!!

By the time you get home, all you want to do is curl up in the fetal position, but life has other plans for you like cooking dinner, driving your own kids to their swim meet, folding the laundry that has been sitting in the basket for two, three, four, or truthfully FIVE days now. Is it possible it is just getting more and more wrinkly by the second?? On days like one of those days, we sometimes feel like we can't do it all. We think about all of the things that went wrong and wonder, "What difference am I making?" I have been there before many a time where I am my worst critic, and and this is when the Starfish Story comes to the rescue for me. If you haven't heard it before, here's how it goes:

The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, "Young man, what are you doing?"

The boy replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die."

The man laughed to himself and said, "Don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make any difference!"

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, "I made a difference to that one."

I made a difference to THAT one. That last line is so powerful, it gets me every time. As teachers, we all have moments where we feel discouraged, frustrated, or just downright cranky. But we have to remember, even on the most hectic of days, we ARE making a difference to our students. Even when it seems like not all students are listening or not all students are not behaving, understanding the lesson, you fill in the blank here... We are making a difference to that one student. That impact is powerful. It is meaningful. It needs to be celebrated.

Now that I am a bit sniffly after typing up the Starfish Story (for the record, I am the type of person who cries at sentimental commercials, so this is really just my daily fix of sniffly-ness), let's move on to some excitement.

All teachers out there, you deserve to be celebrated! If there is something that has been on your wishlist for a while, today is the day to get it! TeachersPayTeachers is having a huge sale for Teacher Appreciation Week. You can save up to 28% when you use the promo code: ThankYou. Click on the picture to head to TPT.



Here's to you all educators out there. You truly are making a difference. Even on one of those days, you are making a difference to that one student.
 photo Slide1_zpsig73du7d.png

No comments:

Post a Comment