Education Starts with the Heart

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Your heart is slightly bigger than the average human heart, but that’s because you’re a teacher. —Aaron Bacall

The final quote in the Teacher Peach’s Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™, we are featuring famed cartoonist, Aaron Bacall.

Everyone at PeachQuotes Studio™ can relate to this quote for one simple reason—from where we sit, this is absolutely true! Teachers MUST have more than slightly-bigger-than-average-sized human hearts—because you are teachers.

If hearts grow because of the love they receive and the differences they make, of course, teacher hearts are oversized.Untitled1.png

Oversized hearts deserve an oversized duffle. Check out the Teacher’s Jumbo Duffle Bag in our Amazon Shop. This incredible teacher bag works great for recess, weekend trips and rehearsals!

In today’s world, where super-sized and the bigger the better qualities are what matter, Teacher Peach, knows that teacher hearts are definitely extra large—the perfect portion as far as we’re concerned. Thank you for your big hearts!

How has teaching helped your heart to grow?

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Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. —Aristotle

As the last installment in Teacher Peach’s Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™ depicts, even in Aristotle’s time adults played a large role in shaping the minds of our youth as well as influencing history through their work. By educating both minds and hearts, we can help children to place and process the concepts their minds are retaining.

When were you able to weave together a learning experience that reached a child in both their minds and hearts? Those are the truest teachable moments—an education of which even Aristotle would approve.

Take this moment to go on Amazon and enjoy one of our amazing tote bags that are 50% off! Our Let Me Make This Perfectly Clear Tote is clearly a tote that is perfect for carrying your things in style!

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By Alexis

Chef Leigh’s Backpack of Blessings

Chef Leigh’s Backpack of Blessings
Meet Our FINAL High 5 Winner, Chef Leigh

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Teacher Peach is thrilled to present the 5th winner of Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative, Chef Leigh!

Chef Leigh is gearing up to help those around her and her school who are less fortunate most specifically, those who find themselves presently homeless. This heartfelt High 5 Initiative reaches out into the community by developing a backpack project for those individuals and families who are currently homeless. Through charitable donations from local companies and organizations, Chef Leigh and her amazing and dedicated students gather materials and fill backpacks with useful items that truly matter—items many of us may take for granted. These thoughtful care kits not only help need some very basic needs, on a deeper level, these dignified gifts help remind people that there are people who care and want to help. This initiative helps increase student, neighborhood, and community awareness and sends a message that everyone can do something to help someone else! Teacher Peach is thrilled to help through our High 5 Initiative award, too.

LeeAndra Khan, who carefully judged all of the entries in Teacher Peach’s High 5 Initiative, explains why this project was chosen as the final winning entry. “Community Service projects not only teach students to collaborate and engage, this kind of project goes even further, teaching students the importance of having—and showing—empathy for others. Students participating in this project will also gain vital leadership skills that they will be able to apply in all of their future endeavors.”

Chef Leigh Says . . .
We had the privilege of interviewing Chef Leigh about her experiences in education and her goals for this particular project. She shared her thinking and views as follows—

TP: How long have you been teaching?
CL: All my life! I have always enjoyed sharing with others. About eight years ago, I was approached by a local technical college and asked to teach in the Culinary Arts Department. I really had a wonderful time there. Then, I was asked to consider teaching at the local high school. Having made it through high school once, I honestly was not all that eager to return, but return I did. I put on my dress uniform, my best smile, and did my best in the interview. It must have been right for all of us because I had a contract offer before I even got home. The rest, as they say, is history!

TP: Why did you become a teacher?
CL: Originally I starting teaching because I was looking for a job in the culinary field and a position opened up at the college level. It wasn’t until I began teaching high school that I realized that teaching was my “surprise destiny!”  Something just “clicked” for me when I started working with students at the high school level. My students really are eager to hear and be heard.  Once I really understood how to communicate with my students, and listen to what they have to say to me, I really began to hit my stride as an effective teacher. It takes both students and teachers to make any learning experience work.

TP: What are the most inspiring aspects of teaching for you?
CL: One of the most thrilling and inspiring aspects of teaching is being able to witness that true “aha” moment—when a student finally “gets it” and the light bulb goes on. That expression is one that can carry me for along time.Helping students engage and become hooked into what I am hoping to teach can be done so many ways and usually the kids will tell you what works best for them if you, as a teacher, are open to spotting it. I am so thankful to be on the faculty of a project-based-learning school. Here, I have the freedom to use many different avenues for instruction. I’m happy to report that it is never quite “status quo” in my classroom. On any given day, we typically have four or five different tasks going on, all of them relevant and filled with real-world connections. I know I do a lot to prepare, as any teacher should, but it’s like a stage: when the students arrive, I love seeing their individual progress and our group progress unfold in front of me.

TP: How do you think this project will impact your students and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
CL: Our Backpack Project is a leadership initiative through LEAD2FEED and this is the second semester we have worked through this program. It was written for high school students to allow them the opportunity to create and control a project that impacts our local community. Many of my students didn’t even realize that we had homeless students in our school, much less in the community. They had associated homelessness with downtown Atlanta where they knew there are people living under the bridges, and so forth, but not in our own community.

Through research and discussion, we were able to team up with a local church that serves the homeless population. We sponsored Candy Grams for Valentine’s Day and sold over 300! We used the proceeds to purchase items for the backpacks. Our BIG GOAL is 50 packs- 25 for local high school students and 25 to be passed out to those outside of school who may also need these items. To date, eight different clubs or teams at our school have joined in by donating needed items—and it continues to grow.

My students are now so much more aware that “societal” issues are applicable everywhere—including our own community. They have become much more civic minded, too. Hopefully, this knowledge will stick with them and will become a part of what they carry into adulthood. Having the chance to know that they are able to personally do something to make a difference to others is very powerful to learn at 15 and 16 years old. It means a lot to these kids—and to those they help.  

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
CL: Have confidence in your students! Our students are amazing people. Get to know that. Don’t just let them out of the traditional “box” of education—really invite them out. ANYTHING can be turned into an applicable lesson with a little forethought.  REALLY listen to what they have to say (even if it seems silly) and above all, be honest with them. My kids trust me more because I admit when I am wrong and when I admit I don’t know the answer. We all know it takes time to build relationships; take that time because it is worth it.  Sometimes the best thing you can do as a teacher is to just stop and really listen. When your students trust you—and you believe in them—you will be amazed at what can happen!

Sparked by Chef Leigh?
Chef Leigh’s advice is inspiring and motivating! Teacher Peach is proud to help Chef Leigh and her students as they continue to work to help the homeless and grow to be more engaged and involved in their community. In addition to the $100 award, Teacher Peach is also sharing some awesome products with Chef Leigh and her students.

Check out these Teacher Peach products Chef Leigh will use in both the backpacks and in her classroom …

Stick’R Treat Mega Stickers Collection
Little Black Books
What ideas does Chef Leigh’s project spark for you? How could you create or adapt a project like this for your students? What spaces surround your classroom that could be enlivened by the creativity of your kids?

Caroline Campaigns for Kindness!

Meet Our Third High 5 Winner, Caroline S.
Elementary School Principal

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Teacher Peach is pleased to present the third winner of Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative, Caroline S.!

Caroline S. teaches her 2nd-4th grade students the importance of empathy with The Great Kindness Challenge! In an effort to banish bullying and create a positive school culture, Caroline and her terrific teach-mates have initiated a kindness movement. Students become engaged with activities such as creating kindness kits, fliers, posters, and decorating classroom doors. Their kindness kits include thank-you cards, decorated heart shapes, painted posters, etc. all created by students. This project goes beyond the classroom as students deliver their kindness kits to community service groups including the local police and fire department, the Mayor’s office, and more!  

Our revered judge, LeeAndra Khan, explains why The Great Kindness Challenge is such an important addition to the High 5 winning initiatives. “Schools should aim to educate the whole student. Having students exercise their voices to prevent bullying is a great step toward promoting empathy and tolerance. Students gain leadership skills and also learn the importance of collaboration. Adding the community engagement piece to the project helps students to understand their role in the larger community.”

Caroline Says . . .
We had the privilege of interviewing Caroline about her experiences in education and her goals for her project. Here’s what she had to say . . .

TP: How long have you been teaching?
CS: I have been a teacher for 19 years and an administrator for 5 years.  I am truly a teacher at heart! I love teaching students and teachers, and even teach night classes at a local college.  

TP: Why did you become a teacher?
CS: I feel like I was born to teach. I have always been involved with kids—babysitting, religious school, and tutoring.  I knew I could make a difference and would enjoy a career in teaching.  

TP: What are the most inspiring aspects of teaching for you?
CS: The most inspiring aspects of teaching are the “light-bulb moments” I see when a child finally catches on to a certain skill or strategy. Students show their appreciation with hugs and I love you’s.  This keeps me striving to be the best I can be for kids.

TP: How do you think this project will impact your students and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
CS: The Great Kindness Challenge has always been a very successful week of creating a culture of kindness [in our school]. I notice a decline in discipline referrals because students focus on being kind to one another.  This positive bullying prevention initiative is powerful as students have an opportunity each day to expand their compassion and learn about about other cultures and needs throughout the world.  There’s a huge impact on our community as local law enforcement officers, fire fighters, mental health providers, the town mayor, and many others come to school on Monday morning to help us kick off the great kindness challenge. Kindness quotes, kindness stations, lunch buddies, and a service project are just a few of the exciting activities that students participate in during the week. We’re excited for next time.

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
CS: Teaching is an incredibly complex endeavor. No one has it nailed. There are always ways to get better for students. I would remind teachers that whoever is doing the reading, writing, and talking is doing the thinking. Learning is a consequence of thinking. Teachers should provide time everyday for students to read, write, and discuss their thinking. We are smarter together. We need to collaborate with our colleagues and our students. Focus on relationships. You will get so much more from your students if they know you love them.  

Inspired by Caroline?
Teacher Peach is proud to help Caroline continue to bring The Great Kindness Challenge to her students and community. This educational project not only encourages students to become a ‘buddy not a bully’, it also encourages them to share the good will with others! In addition to the $100 award, Teacher Peach is also sharing some awesome products with Caroline and her students.

Check out just a few of these Teacher Peach products Caroline will use to help her students ‘catch some kindness’!

Quench Cups

Stress Balls

Mega Stickers

Dry Erase Clips

Common Core State Standards Kit for Success

Teacher Peach Writing Tools

Little Black Notebooks

Take a Peek!
Caroline was kind enough to share a recent The Great Kindness Challenge with us in these beautiful photos!

What ideas does Caroline’s project spark for you? How could you create or adapt a project like this for your students? What spaces surround your classroom that could be enlivened by the creativity of your kids?

Cynthia C. Goes Overseas!

Meet a Winner in Writing, Cynthia C.

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Teacher Peach is pleased to introduce the second winner of Teacher Peach’s “Granting Teacher Goals!” High 5 Initiative!  Cynthia C. engages her 6th grade students by “taking them overseas!” Her innovative High 5 Initiative blends authentic writing assignments with patriotism as her students “adopt” deployed US service personnel. Her educational project not only builds and sharpens the writing skills of her students, it also makes a powerful difference to the dedicated and brave individuals who go to incredible lengths to help keep us safe.

Our esteemed judge, LeeAndra Khan, explains why this project was a clear winner.  “This project helps to increase writing skills as well as gets students to become more globally minded. Students also learn about the locations where the service personnel are stationed. This activity helps students to develop empathy as well as understand and express their appreciation for patriotism and service.”

Cynthia Says . . .
We had the privilege of interviewing Cynthia about her experiences in education and goals for her project. Here’s what she had to say . . .

TP: Please, tell us a bit about you, how long you’ve been teaching, what grades, etc.
CC: I have been teaching since 1983, with maternity leaves, for a total of 21 years of actual time in the classroom. I have taught in several grade levels, from elementary through high school.

TP: What made you decide to become a teacher?
CC: I became a teacher because I love working with children and young adults. I achieve a personal “high” when I see them experience an “aha” moment, regardless of the content area.

TP: What have been the most inspiring aspects of teaching for you?
CC: The most inspiring aspects of teaching for me are watching my students mature in their personal, social, and academic skills. When they suddenly understand the power that they have as individuals and as a cohesive team to make change in their own lives, the school environment, and the larger community, it is a wonderful sight to see.

TP: How does (did) this project impact your students and what outcomes are you hoping to achieve?
CC: This pen pal project, sending letters and care packages to service personnel stationed overseas, has impacted my students by awakening in them a sense of patriotism; they begin to understand that the United States has a multi-faceted mission, one that protects US interests abroad, and also the interests of innocent people caught in hopeless and difficult situations caused by war. They realize that we are not only on military missions—we are also on humanitarian missions. I have been doing this project for the last nine years and this experience has impacted not only my current students, but their parents, and especially younger sibling and friends who ask, on their first day of school, “When do WE get to start the pen pal project?” That’s a powerful reach. With this additional financial support, we hope to reach even further.

TP: What advice would you have for other teachers?
CC: My advice to other teachers is to think big! Create projects that will impact your students AND a larger community. Reach out to forge partnerships in the community to enlarge the audience that becomes a part of your lesson. You’d be amazed at how community leaders are usually willing to participate; you just have to take a risk and ASK!

Inspired by Cynthia?

Cynthia’s lesson is certain to influence and inspire the lives of all of those involved—both today and long into the future. As Cynthia’s interview confirms, many of her former students and their families are already “veterans” of this activity and it has become a tradition that everyone is proud to continue. Teacher Peach is proud to help Cynthia to further enrich this project going forward. In addition to the $100 award, Teacher Peach is also sharing some awesome products with Cynthia and her students.

Check out these Teacher Peach products. Cynthia will use them to connect her students to soldiers and to keep her classroom organized all along the way!

“WRITE.” MECHANICAL PENCILS

COOL TEACHER POCKET FOLDERS: UPCOMING EVENTS

 

What ideas does Cynthia’s project spark for you? How could you create or adapt a project like this for your students?

A Special Spelling Lesson

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“How do you spell love?” —Piglet “You don’t spell it, you feel it.” —Pooh

Happy Valentine’s Day! For this special day, we once again turn to A. A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh for the last quotation in our Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™.

Share this poster with the important people in your life as a reminder of what is really important to our hearts and why on this Valentine’s Day, spelling love is definitely less important that feeling it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™. What do you love about teaching?

Do you have a favorite quotation you’d like to see our PeachQuotes Studio™ designers turn into a poster? Let us know by posting the quotation and the author below! Be sure to share why this quotation is one of your faves, too!

And, of course, Happy Valentine’s Day to the amazing teachers in the Teacher Peach community, all of whom deserve our appreciation, respect, and thanks—every day of the year. Your work definitely sparks our hearts!

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Eyes in the Back of Your Heart?

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Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! From hearts to candy and roses to handmade treats, this is a day for love and appreciation. For this second to last installment in our Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™, enjoy this meaningful quotation by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Our hearts have a heightened ability to “see” that which may not be obvious to the eye. Our hearts see deeply, detecting the unspoken and sensing the hand that has not yet been shown. Perhaps this is why teachers seem to have bigger hearts than others?

What has your heart seen and detected in a student or class that were not immediately within your line of vision?

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Heart Bright, Heart Right!

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No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart. —Author Unknown

Warm your heart with this beauty of a motivational quotation from Teacher Peach’s Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™. We work so hard to teach students to be their best selves, to do the right things in the right ways, and to help others to do the same. In a world that often focuses on material items and external attributes, this deeper message about the power to shine from the inside out is all about leading with a good heart.

What shining moments will you share about teaching?

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