The Little Things MATTER – Believe in Each Other!

“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” -Patricia Neal

Have you checked out the newspaper inserts or the aisles at your local store? Who can miss the school supplies? They are everywhere. I’m a school supply geek. I love wandering the aisles looking for the newest, coolest supplies. You’ll find everything from practical to stylish. Many stores offer rock bottom prices this time of year! Great for stocking up and/or donating to area schools/students in need.

The start of a new school year is a time of mixed emotions for educators, students and parents. Each individual carries their own feelings and perceptions to this new beginning. Being mindful of the differences will help everyone get off to the best start possible. The list could go on and on…

  • The new teacher starting his/her first position
  • The new principal starting his/her career or changing schools
  • The instructional coach starting with a new set of teachers
  • The students transitioning to a new school due to a move or new MS, HS or college experience
  • The incoming kindergartener or preschool student
  • The educator or student who experienced trauma over the summer
  • The student who worked the entire summer
  • The educator or student who is use to following a different schedule throughout the summer
  • The student or educator who spent the summer traveling and the student who was unable to take any type of trip over the summer
  • The educator or student that experienced loss
  • The parent having mixed emotion about child starting school or moving away from home to start college

As we start, let’s remember that these things matter especially as we build new learning communities together.

I remember a few years in my life as a child or adult when I did not take a “summer vacation.” It was painful having to go around the classroom or staff meeting reporting on our travels. What do you say when you did not go anywhere? Assuming that each person in the room had the similar experiences as we had can set the stage for others feeling out-of-place. Let’s think about how we frame our questions so that we do not cause ill feelings right from the start. Little things do matter!

We not only are building learning communities in our classrooms with our students, but we are doing the same with our fellow colleagues. The key is BELIEVING in our students and fellow educators.

“Children (*or adults) will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.”  – Richard L. Evans

I love how this message intertwines both student and educator’s wishes. We have to BELIEVE in each other. Belief in each other sets the stage for BELONGING and AWAKENING EXPECTATIONS in our students and in ourselves.

To end with, Angela Maiers, a friend and mentor – and education and technology consultant from Des Moines, Iowa,  recently shared  two words that can change a life at TEDxDesMoines. YOU MATTER. These are the EXACT words I needed to hear from her! They couldn’t have come at a better time!

How will you show your students you believe in them? How will you show/tell them they MATTER? How will you show/tell your colleagues you believe in them and that they MATTER? How will you show/tell that you believe in yourself and that YOU MATTER?

My NOTEBOOK is ready! This year, I vow to be a Noticing Ambassador with Angela Maiers! Not only will I NOTICE but I will include thoughtful messages that shows students and educators that their contributions MATTER!



Photo Credits:

Back to School Supplies: cc licensed flickr photo shared by sarah sosiak

Little Things Matter: cc licensed flickr photo shared by Melody Campbell

You Matter: cc licensed flickr photo by Stephen Downes


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