Winter Break Wisdom Quote 7: TOMORROW!

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It’s New Year’s Eve! Tomorrow is the first day of 2017. As Brad Paisley says, “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” This quotation resonates with so many of us. Each year, no matter how wonderful the past year may have been, it is simply human nature to crave a do-over. The fact that this quotation references writing and books makes it all that much more attractive to and resonant with teachers, Paisley, and educators, as well as those of us who support them.

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.
—Brad Paisley

The concept of beginning each year with a fresh slate, a fresh start, and brand new book yet to be written is a compelling and attractive notion. It permits us to let go of the old, draw a line in the proverbial sand, think in new ways, start new habits, and go off in new directions. The start of each year brings with it hope and confidence that the year to come will be even better than the one to which we bid adieu tonight.

What are you planning to write in your new 365-page book? As teachers, you’ll no doubt will be tempted to begin with brainstorming maps, proceed to your scope and sequence, plot outlines, and chapter synopses. If only we could truly control the plot lines of our year as we might when writing a short story or other work of fiction! Instead, we plan, we hope, we try, and we dust off our knees and try yet again. That’s certainly the plan for Teacher Peach. If you’ve been following our company, it will not surprise you in the least to read that we have plans to revise, revamp, reshape, and renew our focus and directions in 2017.

No matter what’s in store for the coming year, the Teacher Peach team knows that, regardless of how well or thoughtfully we “script” our 2017 book, there will be plot twists, set-backs, surprises, the introduction of new characters, red herrings, and even a cliff hanger or two. No matter what, though, we’re excited about 2017. For Teacher Peach, as we continue to grow at this accelerated pace, reaching out to and serving more and more teachers an students, we know one thing for certain: 2017 is going to be quite the peachy page turner!

We truly hope you enjoy a safe and special New Year’s Eve with family, friends, or the rare gift of solitude. Tomorrow not only begins a new day, it also begins a new year. We look forward to spending much of it with you. Be safe tonight and enjoy tomorrow.

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 6: CHOICES!

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May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.
—Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s words in PeachQuotes Studio’s Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 6, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” is a powerful way to approach the fresh start we sense you’re striving for as we approach 2017. So many of us begin each New Year filled with new resolve, eager to make new and better choices.

Yet, many decisions people make are, in fact, driven not by what people hope for and truly want, but by what people fear and truly do not want. When hope is the catalyst for choices, anything’s possible—and when that hope is backed up with focus, commitment, hard work, and talent, many positives are sure to come.

As with any rapidly growing entrepreneurial enterprise, running Teacher Peach means we have great opportunities to make choices based on both hopes and fears. Most days, we encounter both; as our Chief Peach, my job is to be sure we acknowledge the fears and “hope” our way forward. At Teacher Peach, we take big risks each day in the smartest ways we know how. (OK, some days are definitely smarter than others, but we keep moving forward, even then.)

My secret? I have a laser lock on our company’s vision to support teachers and students and to do work that truly matters. This helps me to focus on our hopes, paying careful attention to identify and understand when (and why) a fear or two slips into the mix. I work to listen to our fears, figure out what we must learn from them, use them to help us dig deeper, ask more questions, make smarter decisions—and even better products.

Each day, the Teacher Peach team works to make the best possible choices—based on our deep belief in teachers and students and the power of self-confidence to all of us. We anchor our actions to the hope that our work on behalf of teachers and students does and will continue to make a difference. Our mission is all about hope.

Some days, we need to “trust in hopes” because tangible evidence isn’t obvious. Yet, when we hear from teachers who love our products, when a blogger writes a glowing review, or when I board an airplane only to see someone carrying a tote bag I designed to send positive messages about what it means be a teacher—those hope-filled infusions go a long way. They help keep our team on track.

What are your hopes for your 2017 choices? Fear not—as they say. If you make a choice that doesn’t work as well as you’d like, you can just regroup and make another one! That’s my plan. Check out our choice products for teachers and students on Amazon. We’ve even got lots of products on Prime so you can narrow your search that way, too! Also, visit us at teacherpeach.com to see our blog posts and discover more about our business and explore our products. We “hope” you’ll love what you see.

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 5: HEARTS!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 5: HEARTS!

 

The heart that gives, gathers. —Tao Te Ching

PeachQuotes Studio’s Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 5! HEARTS truly says it all. Giving is the key to gathering. As you spend this day between holidays beginning your transition from 2016 to 2017, why not follow your heart and give to gather?

At Teacher Peach, we have the joyous opportunity to follow our hearts each day to help teachers to feel inspired and motivated. Our mission to provide social and emotional support to the teachers who support so many students to become confident learners is a pivotal touch point for each decision we make. As we choose each product, design each message, and carefully make the many decisions that go into each product we offer, we always start from the heart.

Teachers and students are at the heart of everything we do at Teacher Peach.

Thanks to the teachers and students we work to serve and support, we gather so much in return. The many engaged and dedicated teachers who support Teacher Peach inspire us to do our best work—every day. Teacher Peach really does start from the heart with the work that we do. To catch a glimpse of what you might gather to fill your heart with delight, search for Teacher Peach on Amazon to find lots of Prime products and visit us at teacherpeach.com over Winter Break to check out our many “heart-built” products, initiatives, and blog posts, all ready to be gathered up by you.

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 4: HAPPINESS!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 4: HAPPINESS!

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our soul blossom. —Marcel Proust

PeachQuotes Studio’s PeachQuotes Studio’s Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 4! HAPPINESS is all about gratefulness that fuels happiness. With an attitude of gratitude, it’s virtually impossible to feel anger at the same time; try it. It really doesn’t work. With an attitude of gratitude, frustrations and fury tend to evaporate more quickly than you might imagine.

When the topic of gratefulness comes up during the holiday season, as it often does, listen with your teacher hearing and you’ll discover something interesting. When you hear the words “I’m so grateful,” notice specifically the targets of this gratefulness. You’ll likely hear comments like, “I’m so grateful for the weather” or “I’m so grateful their flight arrived on time.”

Many of the things for which we tend to express our gratefulness fall into two categories: The first category is tactical, like flights and traffic or finding the last parking space at the shopping center. The second category revolves around circumstances far beyond our control like the weather. These events provide relief. That’s what we tend to be grateful for, that feeling of relief, protection, and safety from life’s storms. When these are the things for which we are grateful, though, the relief is often short-lived. We move right on to the next events on our dockets, grateful and relieved to be able to get out of the driveway because the snow elected not to fall.

A deeper level of gratefulness floods us with something far beyond relief—true gratefulness fills us with happiness. When you search for what is at the root of this deeper happiness, you’ll most often discover—not a WHAT—but a WHOM. The people in our lives, be they family members, students, peers, or friends, provide us with a deeper and more sustaining sense of gratefulness that brings with it a richness and happiness that help us to grow and flourish. As this quotation so aptly expresses, when we are grateful for the people who make us happy, our souls do indeed blossom. It is our sincere hope that during this holiday season, you and those who make you happy enjoy a true chance to grow and bloom!

As for Teacher Peach, we are so grateful for the many engaged and dedicated teachers who support their students and our company. These teachers inspire us to do our best work—for teachers and students everywhere. Teacher Peach creates really great products for really great teachers. To catch a glimpse of what’s growing in our peach orchard, search for us on Amazon (we’re even Prime on lots of our product offerings on Amazon!). Also, visit us at teacherpeach.com to discover more about our company over Winter Break.

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 3: DIFFERENCES!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 3: DIFFERENCES!
 We are like a snowflake. All different in our own beautiful way.
—unknown

This quote is such a favorite! Just like a snowflake, each of us is different in our own beautiful way, as this third quotation, DIFFERENCES, in our Peach Quotes Studio’s Winter Break W.O.W. Quotations Series so elegantly captures. While the author of this quotation is unknown, the message is universal.

If I were to amend this quotation in any way it would only be to add one single letter to the very last word. I would add the letter S, making the word “way” plural. We are all different in our own beautiful ways—many of them.

At this festive time of year, though, it’s easy to lose sight that these unique facets of beauty within each of us can be beautiful. (Sometimes, they just feel annoying.)

Teachers strive to teach this vital message of uniqueness to students in many ways, every day. Teachers also work to tap into the special strengths that each student possesses, even when those strengths may be deeply masked by other less-beautiful traits. This is how teachers build student confidence, something we deeply strive to support at Teacher Peach. Teachers genuinely believe that students possess such gifts and work tirelessly to discover what motivates each and every student. For teachers, this is all in a day’s work.

As a teacher, this ability to look beyond the obvious to discover what’s beautifully unique about each individual could be incredibly handy during this holiday season. As much as this time is about kindness, giving, and sharing, it is also about waiting in long lines, tracking lost orders, and rushing about in a state of utter exhaustion. It’s easy to forget to look for and celebrate these differences in others. Teachers, however, have a leg up, given how intrinsic this skill is in a teacher’s day. As a teacher, you have the chance to model and do what you do so well by teaching others to do this—through your example.

So, the next time your family finds itself waiting impatiently to check out of a store behind someone or is making a ridiculously complicated return, without the receipt, of course, or someone who can’t decide between the red or grey men’s pajamas on clearance try a new approach. Instead of letting that frustration well up inside, recast the situations. If you instead interpret pajama indecision as great caring, perhaps your time in line will be better spent. You might even tell your kids that whoever is getting those pajamas must be one lucky guy, no matter what color he receives. He’s lucky because the person in front of you spent so much time trying to choose just the right pair.

Of course, if this approach doesn’t work, you might just want to look for a different cash register and hit the leftover holiday cookies as soon as you get home! After all, a snowflake cookie is sure to taste equally beautiful in its own delicious way right about then!

Teacher Peach knows that every teacher we serve is also unique. We are aware of the common views, motivations, and commitment that teachers possess. The many engaged and dedicated teachers who support our company inspire us to do our best work—for teachers everywhere. Teacher Peach creates really great products for really great teachers. To catch a glimpse of what makes our company different, search for us on Amazon and visit us at teacherpeach.com over Winter Break. Lots of our products are even on Amazon Prime!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 2: APPRECIATION!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 2: APPRECIATION!

 

For many of us, today, December 26th, is filled with putting wrapping paper in recycling bins, figuring out where the receipts went, and generally climbing out after holiday pressures and festivities. Today is actually known as National Thank You Note Day, too. As you consider those whom you want to thank for whatever joys they shared with you during this holiday season, it’s a great time to consider the words in today’s Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 2.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. —John F. Kennedy

Today’s quotation by John F. Kennedy focuses on our need for gratitude—not just feeling it, but also expressing it. A most eloquent thank you note is always something that reflects doing the right thing. Even heartfelt notes will only go so far until the actions of our lives reflect our gratitude as well.

It’s not only about the words in our thank you notes, although they are most often welcome and deeply appreciated by their recipients. It is about something more, something bigger. It is not how we verbally express our gratitude that matters so much as how we express our gratitude through the actions we take, the choices we make, and the changes of which we are a part. That’s living by our words.

At Teacher Peach, we live by our ongoing commitment to the amazing teachers, educators, and students we strive to serve. We work to create clear and meaningful messages for teachers, about teachers, by teachers, and in support of teachers and their students—because of our gratitude. We live this gratitude in each product Teacher Peach creates.

Just pop onto teacherpeach.com or search out our products on Amazon to see what we mean. Each product has been carefully created to reflect the professionalism and dedication that teachers bring to the students in their classrooms every single day. To explore more PeachQuotes Studio™ Quotations, visit us on Pinterest and continue to explore our blog. We’d also like to know more about your live-by-your-words actions during this holiday season.

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 1: FAMILY-arity!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 1: FAMILY-arity!
I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story: The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of the familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.
—Fred Rogers

Welcome to Teacher Peach’s special Winter Break W.O.W. Quotations Series, created by PeachQuotes Studio™. (W.O.W. stands for Words of Wisdom.) This quote has special meaning. Familiarity at the holidays can be a wonderful feeling. Fred Rogers said it so well. The holidays, by their very nature, are cloaked in the familiar—and that can feel terrific. Do we really want major surprises at the holidays or do we simply want to recreate those warm holiday feelings from our own childhoods? For many of us, these are the feelings we began to crave the moment the weather began to turn.

Many special holiday traditions are steeped in familiarity—in fact, as a teacher, we’re sure the connection between the words family and familiar didn’t escape your notice. Chances are, we’re all working long and hard to make our holidays the most wonderful time of the year, as they say. The concept of familiarity can be a helpful filter to make choices that really will matter to those who matter to you.

Maybe it really isn’t so important to get tickets to that new show. Perhaps your family would be happier going back to the same train exhibit you’ve gone to for three years. What if your family just likes to drive around to see the beautiful lights? The appeal of whatever traditions your family cherishes can often be traced back to their familiarity. Could it be there is comfort in the familiar? Could this comfort help us all to let down our guard a bit and stop to savor the familiar—and family? Here’s to making your holiday story a favorite one—that will stay familiar for years to come.

Speaking of years, before shifting gears to launch Teacher Peach, our team spent over 30 years creating classroom curriculum products that teachers use all over the country. We used to work for many of the major educational publishers—so classrooms and teachers were very familiar to us. Now, we create really great products and accessories to directly support these amazing teachers who teach our kids to achieve and grow—and we love it!

To “get familiar” with Teacher Peach’s great teacher products, check us out on Amazon and at teacherpeach.com. To explore more PeachQuotes Studio™ Quotations, visit us on Pinterest and continue to explore our blog. We’d also like to know your favorite sentiments during this holiday season. Got any familiar favorites?

Enjoy tonight. It is filled with holiday celebrations of all kinds. We truly hope you enjoy the ones that are “familiar” to you. Because tomorrow is Christmas Day, we will wish you a lovely day and see you again with our next post on December 26th.

Winter Break Wisdom! Introduction

Winter Break Wisdom! Introduction

 

As you enjoy this holiday season, Teacher Peach’s PeachQuotes Studio™ is excited to share our popular Winter Break W.O.W. Quotations Series. W.O.W. stands for Words of Wisdom. At this hectic and festive time of year, we’re sharing these quotations because they’re some of our favorites—and we genuinely hope they become your favorites, too. Who wouldn’t benefit from quick motivating messages over the Winter Break holidays? We know we would. So sit back, reflect, and enjoy for a sliver of time each day as we send these quotation your way.

Designed to inspire and curated to resonate, these quotations are yours to share, post, print, and display. They make great gift toppers, posts, and have even been known to grace a thank-you note or two. We hope these quick quotes and mini blog posts will also spark you in a special way. Teacher Peach will post a different quotation mini blog almost every day between December 24th, and January 3rd—just in time for so many teachers to get ready to head back to school.

Because it’s Winter Break and at least some pressures are off, we’re hoping you’ll get to know Teacher Peach a bit better. So in each quotation’s mini blog post, we’ll provide a glimpse behind the Teacher Peach scenes. You’ll discover a few of our own experiences as they relate to these curated quotations.

As every teacher knows, wisdom comes from learning—and paths to wisdom are often indirect and tangled, to say the least, so insights help. We hope some of what we’ve learned shaping this business to support teachers and students with confidence may shed light and provide ideas to take back to your classrooms. We also want to “peel back our peach” as it were, to share more about why Teacher Peach believes so strongly in the teachers and students we work so hard to support with the products we create. Just as we want to know you, we want you to get to know us, too!

To discover inspiring teacher products and accessories, check us out on Amazon or visit teacherpeach.com or for really great products for really great teachers. To explore more Motivating Quotes by PeachQuotes Studio™, visit us on Pinterest and continue to explore our blog. We’d also like to know your favorite sentiments during this holiday season. We so hope you’ll share a few here—as well as your own WOWs for us.

5 Tips for a Great Last Day Before Break

5 Tips for a Great Last Day Before Break

 

This last week of school before Winter break can seem as though it is twelve days long! As teachers approach the finish line, there’s so much yet to complete before departing for some well-deserved time off. We wait all year long for this special season of celebration and then the stress mounts as we juggle so many additional activities. Earlier in the week Teacher Peach posted 5 tips for you to employ early in the last week before break to ensure a smooth transition to and from Winter Break.

In this blog post, checkout these 5 Last-Day Tips to add to your to-do list before break. These tips will help you to efficiently button up your classroom and will also help to set yourself up for a successful re-launch after the New Year!

Can you picture yourself on your Winter Break? It’s so close. Use these 5 tips to help you clear your school decks to be able to let go and enjoy holiday festivities and activities. Of course, time is tight on these final few days and some of these details might feel like the last things you have time for right now. If you make time to complete even a few of these actions, you’ll more successfully and effectively re-launch after the New Year. Being able to close more than your classroom door, to truly take a breath from your professional responsibilities, will add to your winter break. If your classroom is poised for a great fresh start in 2017 chances are better that you’ll be more able to relax and enjoy your entire winter break!

5 Tips for a Great Last Day Before Winter Break

1. Organize and clean up the classroom for Winter Break cleaning. Clear your classroom and make major school Winter Break cleaning projects easy to accomplish in your classroom. Encourage your students to help by picking up reading pillows, milk crates, and other classroom fixtures that reside on the floor. This quick action will help the custodial team clean and vacuum reading rugs, wax the floor, and give your classroom a fresh and welcoming feeling when you return. Students love to help ready the room, so they can surely go beyond their normal habit of turning chairs over desks. Remind students to take home any out-of-season extra clothes from lockers, too. Doing this activity also gives you a tangible chance to underscore the benefits of a fresh start after break. Many students really need this boost to their confidence.
2. Ready your classroom for January: clear the decks from decking the halls. While holiday decorations may make for a very festive classroom now, you’ll react quite differently to those candy canes and ornaments when you walk back into the room in January. Even the snowflakes can feel tired. If you’re hosting a class party, once it’s over, take just a few minutes to take down what we call “heavy holiday” decorations before you leave. Some teachers like to keep up the snowmen and penguins, just in case they can’t get to a January MLK makeover on the first day or two when school resumes. Even if you don’t have time to store the holiday items before you leave, just taking a few minutes to take down the “heavy holiday” items will feel wonderful when you renter your classroom. Putting them in one location will make it easy in January to quickly clear the decks from decking the halls.
3. Send home this fun, quick text study activity.
Looking for something to send home with your students? Try this Holiday Homework Postcard. There’s still time to order it on Amazon today. You can also check out this Holiday Link. If you’d like winter break to include family time with some embedded learning, try this quick activity that kids and family members will enjoy. Rich with important critical thinking skills, this quotation is bound to spark many family discussions. This thought-provoking quotation and worksheet features Picasso’s famous quote:

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

To complete the activity, students explore what the quote means and interview family members for their interpretations. The activity also encourages students to discover their own “gift” as well as the “gifts” of family members—which can spark some excellent bonding conversations over the holidays.

Some teachers offer extra credit, others make the assignment mandatory, and still others simply send it home. Some teachers attach it to an email to families or tuck it in their thank you notes for holiday gifts. Whatever way works best for you, this quotation helps kids to see that the gift that isn’t wrapped is the most important one of all. As your students settle in on the first few days back, discussing this quotation and the their findings is a great way to reignite your class in January.

4. Create a quick “Where We Left Off” list.

In the tips for earlier this week, we suggested you create a “When We Return” folder to hold all work in progress, lesson plans, assignments, and any other items you’ll want to have handy when you walk back into your classroom in January. On the last two days before break, take a few minutes throughout both days to make a running list of where you stopped on various lesson plan priorities. You’ll be amazed at how valuable this list will be when you return. You can hit the ground running—and everything you’ll want to have will be in one folder.One question often comes up about both the “When We Return” folder and the “Where We Left Off” list: “Do you leave it on your desk or do you pop it in your briefcase?” The answer depends upon your personal planning style. Do you prep for your school week from home on Sunday night? If so, then take the folder home and tuck it away until the night before your return. If you tend to arrive at school early on Monday mornings to chart out your week’s lesson plans, then leaving the folder and list on your desk is the better answer for you. Either way, you’ll be able to jump right back—picking up where you and your students left off. Most of all, you’ll be rejuvenated, refreshed, and rested, because you were able to step away, enjoy your Winter Break, and be prepared well for your time away and smart re-entry.

5. Power down your classroom—AND YOURSELF! Be sure that all computers, electronics, lights, and other ON items are properly powered down. Check around once again for in-desk surprises from students like leftover snacks, old water bottles, etc. Unless student lockers have locks, it’s also a good idea to do a quick check to lockers and scan for in-desk surprises like old snacks, forgotten juice boxes, or any party remnants. Invite students to take responsibility for this task. Confirm that class pets and plants get to winter break guardians, as well. If you’re leaving plants in class, be sure that they are watered, placed by or away from windows, as needed, and make arrangements with custodial teams to check in on them. Some schools turn heating systems down over long breaks, so be sure you plan for this, as well.

Most importantly, before you leave your classroom for Winter Break, power down yourself wisely, too. Take one last, quiet sweep across your classroom before turning off the light—and take a deep breath. This time, you’re not looking for tangible items. Take a moment to acknowledge the intangibles—think for at least a moment about the last time your classroom was this quiet. It was likely in August before school began.

Think about and recognize all that you’ve accomplished since school started! Look how far both you and your kids have come.

  • Are your kids reading at higher levels than when you met them?
  • Are your students taking more responsibility for their learning?
  • What about that concept that they struggled with and finally mastered?

Bravo on all counts!

Take a moment to recap your professional accomplishments so far in this school year! Remember, you deserve this break. You’ve already made strides with your students. Of course, there’s more to do; there always will be. With a sense of the successes, you’ll be ready to relax and enjoy your own Winter Break.

What are you planning to do to acknowledge your incredible accomplishments during the 2016 portion of the 2016–2017 school year? We’d like to know. The team at Teacher Peach would also like to take this opportunity to extend our very best wishes for a terrific Winter Break to all of the really great teachers who work so hard to make a difference to the students and families with whom you work each day. Enjoy!