Explore Nueroscience in Education with Dr. Lori Desautels

Teacher Appreciation and Gratitude

“But Wisdom is proved Right by All Her Children”

Teacher Appreciation Remembrances

“The difference between good and superior teachers are those that self-reflect, sharing and listening to the story.”


My high school friend who is now an educator in Texas reminded me this morning that the educational revolution IS taking place ,as she shared these words, “  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the educational revolution is already happening in our classrooms. It just isn’t making the 11:00 news. The people who are making a difference aren’t talking about it. They’re doing it.”


I could not agree more and wanted to write about the positive actions, experiences and work thousands of educators are creating each and every day.


We cannot control the actions and words of another or a system, but we can choose “how” we respond envisioning the “what could be” and empowering one another through the gift of relationship.   Thank you to all those educators who may not be featured on the 11:00 news, but are silently and actively sitting beside your students and revolutionizing education! 


Stepping outside the stuffy and worn through container of educational reform, I want to share these statistics. In 2004, an extensive survey conducted by The National Opinion Research Center found that American individuals perform an average of 109 altruistic acts a year. Multiplying this figure by the adult population at the time reveals that there were 23,980,000,000 acts of altruism performed in America that year! The same year, the FBI reported an estimated 1,367,009 violent crimes of all types, nationwide. Doing a bit of calculation while adding an increase in the amount of reported  service acts of children and  young adults during the past few years,  there is an inspiring statistic: For every act of violence in America that year, there were roughly 17, 540 acts of altruism! It isn’t surprising that most of us have a somewhat skewed view of human nature, and this certainly is true when it come to the reported  power struggles, funding dilemmas, school take-over discussions, increased assessment models, charter verses public school and other battled and tenuous  topics reported  daily in the media.    


There are educators who are riding the waves of change with optimism and hope, creating classroom cultures where our “shared commonalities” as human beings are revered and discussed.  These educators understand that focusing on shared dreams and a desire for improvement and happiness lead to healthy discussions, mutual demonstrated respect and minds that generate positive emotion where broadened perspectives allow both teacher and student to create alternatives to challenging situations.


I am not proposing that we ignore or repress the political and systemic broader educational changes that are occurring outside our classroom doors, but I am suggesting that one mind, one child  and one relationship can be nurtured and “heard” when we focus our energies on “seeing the very best” envisioning potentiality in every relationship  and  student… then listen deeply.    I applaud those educators who are looking beneath negative behaviors of many students, colleagues or parents, understanding that there is much more to these expressed words and actions and hearing their whispers indirectly stating, “I am not enough!”  When we understand what is beneath the angry and hurtful words or actions of another, we are not rationalizing or justifying behaviors; we are simply called to recognize that these negative emotions may run much deeper where hopelessness, disappointment and sadness rest at the center.


There are so many extraordinary educators who are moving forward and choosing to see the creativity and innate genius in all their students, appreciating  the varied personalities that walk through their classroom doors and who invest in relationships that for the students and parents, feel safe, secure and motivating!

My heartfelt gratitude for all those educators who:

  1. Try to see the “very best” in each and every student
  2. Listen to understand, not to respond
  3. Create a safe and collaborative culture where students feel comfortable in making mistakes and motivated to keep going!
  4. Get up every morning, feeling sometimes exhausted beyond description, but open their minds and hearts to those three or four vulnerable students who push their buttons and test the relationship just because they need to know that someone will still be there no matter their choices!
  5.   Create opportunities for children and young adults to discover their passions and strengths!
  6. No matter the political and educational thermometer, you walk in the door and greet students with gratitude and are authentic in ways that create a mutual, respectful and compassionate presence.

Education is about living outside the walls of school and if each one of us were honest and authentic in sharing one dream, desire or wish for a child or student growing up in this time, I believe our wish or desire would center on “emotional and social well-being”    


Thank you for touching the hearts and minds of our future world citizens no matter the school, the atmosphere, or invited changes. When your students see how “you” model and experience circumstances out of your control , they will observe, ponder and question… learning in its finest moment. 

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