Inspiring Children to Love to Learn

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Teachers who love teaching teach children who love learning. —Author Unknown

As we’ve heard from many teachers, one of the best moments of teaching occurs when the teacher witnesses an “aha!” moment—that special second when a student’s eyes light up as a lightbulb finally goes on about a difficult concept. Today’s motivational quote from Teacher Peach’s PeachQuotes Studio™ Heartfelt Quotation Series, highlights how the students who love learning are truly one of the best sources of inspiration for teachers. Which comes first? The teacher who loves teaching or the children who love learning? Hmmm. Does it really matter? Not really. When this kind of connection occurs, the catalyst is only that; the results are so much greater. Teachers really DO love teaching when their ability to teach and reach children inspires their love of learning.

What “aha” moments do you cherish about your own teaching experiences?

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Most Teachers Have Three Loves

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Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together. ―Scott Hayden

Today for the second installment in Teacher Peach’s Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™, we feature a popular motivational quote by Scott Hayden that showcases the three loves shared by many teachers.

What do you love about teaching?

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Introducing the Heartfelt Quotation Series from PeachQuotes Studio™

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I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. —Martin Luther King, Jr.

Teacher Peach’s innovative PeachQuotes Studio™ is excited to introduce a new series of quotations designed with what teachers love in mind. Welcome to Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this elegantly designed quotation series features more than 14 motivational quotations to inspire teachers to contemplate the always-timely question: “What do you love about teaching?”

We kickoff our series with a quote from an incredible teacher and leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we noted in our quote series as we celebrated Dr. King’s recent birthday, Dr. King was one of the most inspirational and quote-worthy leaders of all time. So what better way to kickoff the Heartfelt Quotation Series than by showcasing an MLK quote about sticking with love?

What do you love about teaching? Teacher Peach is excited to stick with teachers; it’s just what we do (and why we do it)!

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Meet Kim M. The Winner of the All About Writing! Gift Set

It was a privilege to invite Kim M., the winner of the Teacher Peach All About Writing Gift Set in our recent holiday contest, to answer a few questions about what makes her tick and thrive as a teacher. One of our two contest winners, Kim’s name was chosen at random to receive this gift set. Congratulations, Kim! Here are some of Kim’s thoughts. We hope they spark you to comment and continue a dialog about what you love about teaching.

   KimM_Teacher_Peach_Contest_Winner   All About Writing Gift Set

TP: Kim, tell us a bit about you, how long you’ve been teaching, what grades, etc.
KM: This is my 19th year of teaching. I have taught one year in second grade, six years in kindergarten, and twelve years in first grade. I have also been married for 19 years and we have two sons.

TP: What made you enter the contest?
KM: I follow Teacher Peach on Facebook and I was really interested in the gift sets that Teacher Peach was giving away in the contest. Both gift sets had lots of colorful things in them that I knew I’d use.

TP: Why did you want to win the prize and how do you plan to use it?
KM: I wanted to win the prize because I really liked the bag! 🙂 I also liked the notecards that can be sent home as a way of communication with classroom families; that’s really important to how I work as a teacher. That kind of connection is a big part of how students perform. We’re one team, families and teachers, all working to help the kids. I am also very excited to use the teacher journal and little black book. It’s important for all teachers, new and seasoned, to collect their thoughts, reflect on what is working and what can go better the next time. Even after nineteen years, or especially after nineteen years, I know that even just a few minutes of reflection can inspire a new idea to try the next day, help teachers see a pattern, or remind teachers that “we’ve been here before.” We tell even first graders to journal and express their thoughts. It’s a big part of being a good teacher, too. It’s good to look back because it is easy to forget that kids grow at different times and in different ways. Sometimes, an idea that didn’t work in November is perfect for that same student, come March. Journaling can help teachers see and recall that idea at the right time.

TP: What are the three biggest rewards for you as a teacher?
KM: Seeing the growth that my students make through the year, seeing their faces light up when they accomplish something they were not sure that they could do, and just the joy of being able to teach these students are the biggest rewards. Being a teacher is kind of like being a conductor of an orchestra. Every student plays a different instrument in his or her own way, and in many different keys, often all at once! As teachers, we do not play their instruments for them; we guide, we help them find the beat, and we hope they’ll hit their high notes when they are ready. When I see a face light up with pride, when my students discover they can do something new, that’s what’s music to my ears!

TP: What are the three biggest challenges you face as a teacher?
KM: While assessment is important for so many reasons, it can be tough to manage and prepare the little ones for so much assessment these days. The amount of assessing that is expected for elementary students is significant and it needs to be a part of lesson plans, strategy, and every teacher’s priorities. But if we use the results right and we are good teachers with the kids’ needs at the forefront, we can use this information as another data point in creating the right solutions for the students. It is also very challenging when families are not involved in their child’s education. Many families do the very best they can; others just seem not to be connected and as teachers, we do not always know why. But we always see the difference it makes in the education of that student when a family cannot or is not involved. Whatever the reason, the results are the same—tough for the child. Believe me, they know the difference—we all do. Lastly, as a teacher, you always want to reach every child. Every child is different and as teachers we need to focus on meeting all the needs of many diverse learners—all at once. That can be a challenge for any teacher.

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
KM: This advice is going to sound easy, and be much easier to read than to enact each day. That said, these three pieces of advice have helped me a great deal. The first is always be prepared. The second is always listen to your students. Finally, always have a positive attitude. The first, always be prepared, is actually the easiest because it rests squarely on the teacher’s shoulders. By preparing for the week ahead, teachers are ready to contend with the many surprises we encounter all week long. Without that plan, we’d be constantly reacting. With preparation, it’s much easier to respond on a dime to what the kids need. You can’t REgroup without a group of plans to begin with! Second, listening to your students sounds so simple, but it is actually quite difficult to do sometimes. The classroom is a place of great activity and it is easy to get distracted. Also, some kids just don’t want to be heard—or perhaps they aren’t ready. Kids can also speak in a code that teachers need to crack. A mumbled “I don’t know,” the quiet shrug of a shoulder, or a downward glance often means something more. As teachers, we need to listen to what is said—and what isn’t. Lastly, as for having a positive attitude? That comes from loving what you do, even on a day filled with challenges. As teachers of young elementary students, it’s important to remember that kids will definitely sense your moods, your reactions, and will generally take their cues from you. If you’re positive, then I’m positive that you’ll stand the best chance of getting positive responses from your students.

Kim’s thoughts on teaching and her suggestions come from the heart—and from nineteen years in the classroom. Kim’s All About Writing Gift Set is en route to her. When she opens her package, she’s promised to reconnect with Teacher Peach so stay tuned for Kim’s next installment. What would you add to Kim’s thoughts? When do you feel most rewarded as a teacher? What advice would you like to share? We’d all love to hear about a few of your favorite moments as a teacher.

Opposite Day Ideas for Your Classroom

Teacher Peach OPPOSITE DAYUp/down. Left/right. Open/closed. Yes/no. Yep, you guessed it. Opposite Day is upon us. January 25th is National Opposite Day. What are you doing in your classroom to celebrate this day?

Whether your whole school observes Opposite Day or you are just looking for fun activity or two to heat up your classroom in the middle of January, there are plenty of ideas out there to help. Teacher Peach did a bit of detective work to find some quick activities and worksheets that you can use help incorporate Opposite Day into your classroom. Check these out—or don’t, as we say in the land of oppo-speak!

Opposite Day Lesson Plans and Activities
When looking for activity ideas, Scholastic and PBS have some great resources. We found some sample activities from them as well as from a few other resources.

Free Printables from Around the Internet
With just a few clicks, you’re sure to find some easy Opposite Day printable worksheets and flash cards. These will save you a search.

Check Out These Teacher Peach Products
Once you’ve had your fun celebrating National Opposite Day, move on to setting up yourself and your classroom for Valentine’s Day. Check out Teacher Peach’s line of Valentine’s Day products. Treat yourself to something special to help complete your Valentine’s Day celebration. The Because It’s All About the Kids™ product line is one message that we’re sure has no opposite in your world. With teachers, it IS all about the kids, no matter what day it may be.

STAINLESS STEEL THERMAL BOTTLE  SPIRAL NOTEBOOK JOURNAL  INSULATED COOLER TOTE

Have a great Opposite Day on Monday. Share your action plan here!

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Meet Sharon B. the Winner of the Words to Grow By! Gift Set

It was a privilege to interview Sharon B., the winner of the Words to Grow By Gift Set in our recent holiday contest. Sharon’s name was chosen at random. Congratulations, Sharon. Here are some excerpts from our interview.

SharonB_Teacher_Peach_Contest_Winner  Words to Grow By Gift Set

TP: Sharon, tell us a bit about you, how long you’ve been teaching, what grades, etc.
SB: I’ve been teaching for 24 years. Now I’m teaching fifth grade, ELA and Social Studies. I’ve taught students from second through eighth grade over the years.

TP: What sparked you to enter this Teacher Peach contest?
SB: I like your page on FB. I love the products, especially the tote bag. I also enjoy the different quotes and share them with my kids, too.

TP: What makes you come back to Teacher Peach?
SB: You get teachers. Teaching is my passion; it is not a career. It is my passion to help my students. When I help students with reading and literacy, I’m doing work that’s right for me—and for them. Many times, students are reading two grades below level. My passion helps me put myself in their shoes. I keep in perspective exactly where each child is and I tell my students I know they can succeed. I encourage every different student to brush off the struggles and frustrations and keep moving forward. Teacher Peach shares my passion for teaching, teachers, and kids. I like that.

TP: What are the three biggest rewards for you as a teacher?
SB: When I started teaching, thought I’d change the world. I quickly learned that would take longer than I’d thought. Now, I see I’ve made differences—one student at a time. It’s the greatest feeling to discover what former students have achieved. It reminds both of us of the difference we made together. Middle school may have been a long time ago, but they remember and so do I. It can take years to know you were a part of their success, but it is worth the wait. I’ve even had the chance to teach the children of former students. Finally, when I worked as a special needs teaching assistant, I found different rewards than I ever imagined. To see those children, so eager to learn and discover what they can do, was big. They didn’t judge, they were open to doing their best, and when I would spot their determination, when I could spark that smile on a child’s face, it was wonderful. All kids can do so much if we encourage them. When they can trust you as a teacher, it is very rewarding.

TP: What are your three biggest challenges?
SB: Every teacher knows that there are just some days you don’t feel you’re getting through to your kids. I stop myself and wonder what those children deal with before and after they are in my classroom. I remind myself that we have no idea what they struggle with at home. As an English teacher, I see students who don’t like to write. I need to figure out other ways to reach them. Getting enough support is a challenge, too. Teaching assistants work so much harder than many teachers see. I was a TA and that experience opened my eyes. As teachers, we need to appreciate all the support teams around us.

TP: You have such an incredible attitude and approach to teaching. What advice would you have for other teachers?
SB: First, put yourself out there and be confident in yourself. Failures do help to build confidence; don’t be afraid of that. Second, smile and keep a positive attitude. I always tell my kids, “Your day always turns out the way the corners of your mouth turn.” That’s good advice for anyone to follow. Finally, have teaching passion. If you are passionate, then teachers teach and learn. We learn from our students—every day. I take what I learn from my kids and try my very best to share learning right back.

TP: What would you tell new teachers and college students considering teaching?
SB: Again, you need a passion to teach. “It’s all in or go home!” Realize you’re never done learning; graduating is the beginning of your next learning opportunity. Keep learning. Seek out PD; I do. I think new teachers think success is about big things, but it isn’t. Teaching with passion shows you that the little things are really big things when they help a student grow and learn! Use numbers wisely, too. Test scores measure progress, but remember the number one, too—one child at a time. Every single child is an individual. Help each do well in class and they’ll do well on standardized tests. Testing is a great measuring tool because you can see progress from starting scores to new ones. I’ve helped kids make a two-year leap in one school year, to jump 47 points in one year! That gain means we’re doing the right things. Data doesn’t lie. Don’t worry what level a student is when you begin; that’s a starting point. I tell my students that if they’ll work with me, I’ll do everything I can to work with them. Let your students know you’ll help and that you know they’ll do their best.

TP: Any other advice for other teachers?
SB: Remember to get down to the kids’ level—look at the world through their eyes if you can. Peer pressure is huge these days. You’ve got to have empathy. Jump in, put yourself out there, and you’ll learn and become an even better teacher.

TP: As you know, Teacher Peach strives to support and appreciate teachers. What makes you feel appreciated?
SB: My district is so amazing, and I’ve always felt appreciated here. Other teachers have told me they’re not so fortunate. From what I hear about other places, politics can sometimes overshadow being there for the kids. In my district, I’m supported for doing my best with and for my kids. I love it when families acknowledge the work I do. Cards and letters from my own principal mean a lot, too.

TP: Can you suggest products you’d like Teacher Peach to create to help support teachers?
SB: You’ve got lots of products of all sizes, which is good. I love the sticky notes, cards, stickers, pencils, clips, Sharpies®, and supplies we use all the time. I also love little pins and clips for lanyards. Personally, I love anything with a ladybug on it. I use LADYBUGS as acronym for what I do.

Sharon’s Ladybug: Learning Always Demonstrates that You’re Building an Understanding of Goals and Skills!

Sharon has certainly shared her understanding of the goals, skills—and passion—every teacher needs to thrive. Sharon’s Teacher Peach Words to Grow By Gift Set is en route to her. When she opens her package, she’s promised to reconnect with Teacher Peach, so stay tuned for Sharon’s next installment. We so hope Sharon’s words of wisdom and ideas inspire you the next time you go into your classroom. What would you add to Sharon’s messages? Do you have a teaching ACRONYM to share?

Showcase Your Profession with Pride with This Rainbow Black Tote

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With the Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote from Teacher Peach, proudly display how special it is to teach. In one simple, powerful expression, this stunning black tote bag reflects an incredible display of well-earned teacher pride in an awesome array of colors.

Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote Features

Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote

  • Message reads: “Yes. I teach. So I inspire, manage, coach, engage, solve problems, listen, detect, explore, believe, care, worry, & always make time to laugh with my kids.”
  • The black, Denier polyester tote highlights the many invaluable roles of every teacher and sends a positive message about the actions teachers take each day.
  • This gift tote is big enough to hold any and all materials teachers need each day. It’s even big enough to add a purse, shoes, or lunch and strong enough to hold most laptops!
  • Organization is easy with the zippered inner and outer compartments.
  • The sturdy, 25-inch rolled shoulder straps add to the comfort.
  • Be sure to thank the many teachers in your life with this special, colorful teacher gift!

Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote   Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote

Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote   Teacher Peach Jumbo Rainbow Black Tote

This tote is perfect for fitting all of your daily teaching materials. But that’s not all—this bag is all-purpose! It’s even big enough to store all of your workout gear. Carry it with you from your classroom, to the gym, home, and wherever else you might roam! This bag is perfect for all your on the go needs!

How would this tote help you carry your daily gear and send a strong, powerful message about your love of teaching? Comment below and let us know! Then check out the other great products to meet your needs at teacherpeach.com along with the many amazing Valentine’s Day gifts you might also want to pop onto your wishlist. Teacherpeach.com has it all!