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Category: Teacher Encouragement

Classroom Ideas 0

Silent Monkey

School is four short weeks away, and most teachers are scrambling to fill their teacher tool belt with as many tricks as possible.  I love to play a game on the first days of school called “Silent Monkey.”  Now, you may call it whatever you like, but I call it “Silent Monkey” because I play the game with a stuffed Monkey named George the Third. This is also a great game to play during the year when students are getting droopy or you’re moving from one activity to another.

Here are the rules:

  • Students sit on top of their desks (kids LOVE this part of the game.)
  • One student starts with the monkey (or duck-billed platypus, whatever you like.)
  • The student with the monkey says another student’s name and throws the toy to said student.
  • If the person who throws the stuffed animal makes a bad pass, that student is out and must sit in his seat.
  • If the student receiving a good pass doesn’t catch the stuffed animal, he’s out and must sit in his seat.
  • Anyone else in the room who MAKES ANY NOISE AT ALL (laughs, oohs, ahhs, mocks, etc.) is out.
  • The game ends when only one person is left (or the timer goes off.)
  • Note 1: I personally set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes, then the game is over.  Students honestly can’t handle the game longer than that.
  • Note 2: When I’m feeling tired or lazy and don’t want to participate myself, I assign a respected student to be the judge and make the call whether a student is out or not.
  • Note 3: The stuffed animal should be weighted.  Each type of stuffed animal lends a different dynamic to the game- if you change types of stuffed animals often, you can consider it a lesson in aerodynamics.

To Summarize:

  • If you don’t say a name before you throw, you’re out.
  • If you make a bad pass, you’re out.
  • If you don’t catch a good pass, you’re out.
  • If you make ANY noise (except the name if you’re the one throwing) you’re out.
  • When you’re out, you sit in your seat instead of on the desktop.

Have fun, and let me know if you come up with any great variations.

 

 

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Teacher Encouragement 0

SYNSYSN Days 21-30

One way to improve student achievement- on my end anyway-  is to improve me, so for these last days of prayer for the next school year, I am praying through Romans 12.  (I am going to work on memorizing the chapter this week as I pray.)

Day 21- God help me be willing to sacrifice for my job and my students.

Romans 12:1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Day 22- God help me not to fall into accepted patterns of behavior (like griping and complaining) but renew my mind daily to think like you.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Day 23- Give me the humility to not think too much of myself but to see myself as I really am.  

12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Day 24- Help my teammates and me to understand our gifts and work together for the most amazing sixth grade year ever.

12:6. . . We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. . .

Days 25-30- There are too many character traits in the next verses to list, so for the last days, I am reciting the last half of this chapter as a prayer for myself:

Rom 12:9-21 
  • Love must be sincere.
  • Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 
  • Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 
  • Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 
  • Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
  • Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
  • Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 
  • Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 
  • Live in harmony with one another.
  • Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position (Or willing to do menial work) 
  • Do not be conceited.
  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 
  • Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Should your next school year start now?

Should your next school year start now? Day 2

Days 3-9: Should your next school year start now?

SYNSYSN?-Day 10

SYNSYSN? Days 11-12

SYNSYSN Day 13

Day 14

Days 15-16

Days 17-20

SYNSYSN Days 21-30

Teacher Encouragement 2

Days 17-20

One of the hardest students to teach is the lazy one– you know, the one that won’t even pick up his or her pencil.  Over the next few days, I am going to pray for the student that has a propensity toward doing nothing.

Day 17– Father, help each student to not be a sluggard:

Proverbs 24:33-34
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
Day 18: I’m praying each child will understand that hard work pays off.
Proverbs 12:24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.
Day 19:  I’m praying that every person in class will practice doing all work to the best of his or her ability.
Col. 3:23  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. . .
Day 20- God, help my charges to be not just talkers, but doers.  
Proverbs 14:23  All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Teacher Encouragement 1

Days 15-16

Jay was a student in my first hour English class the first year I taught at Webb City Junior High School.  He was a child who couldn’t sit still and talked CONSTANTLY, but if you know me at all, you know I actually enjoy the child with a lot to say.  However, what I didn’t enjoy about Jay was his stubbornness concerning correction.  He was a fool, if I may be blunt.

We have all had a student like Jay, who refused to take correction or grow.    Over the next two days, I’m praying that each of my students will want to learn and accept discipline.

Day 15: Lord, please help my students heed correction.  
Proverbs 15:31-32–Whoever heeds life-giving correction
will be at home among the wise.
Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
Day 16: Lord, please help my students to be discerning and not fools.
Proverbs 15:14-
The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
Teacher Encouragement 1

Day 14

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]–blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he. [I Sam. 3:1; Amos 8:11, 12.] (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

My mantra for my students all evening has been this verse, but in the King James Version, of course:  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.  

I am praying that every single one of my students, past and future, will know the redemptive revelation of God.  I am also asking that each person who has passed through my classroom will experience the earthly and spiritual blessings of keeping God’s Law.

 

Teachers, if you are just starting a prayer journal for your students, here are the links to catch up:

Should your next school year start now?

Should your next school year start now? Day 2

Days 3-9: Should your next school year start now?

SYNSYSN?-Day 10

SYNSYSN? Days 11-12

SYNSYSN Day 13

Teacher Encouragement 3

SYNSYSN Day 13

My heart plummeted today when a friend mentioned checking students’ test scores. So I’m not going to lie to you, I’m praying like crazy today (as I did everyday last year) that my students will have exponential academic growth.

 

SYNSYSN? Days 11-12

SYNSYSN?-Day 10

Days 3-9: Should your next school year start now?

Should your next school year start now? Day 2

Should your next school year start now?

 

Teacher Encouragement 3

SYNSYSN? Days 11-12

With Father’s Day approaching, I feel it’s important to pray for my students who don’t have a father.  

Day 11-  I’m praying that my students will know God as a father.  

Day 12-   I’ve actually had students whose father was absent because he was in prison. I’m praying for every dad in prison to give up his rebellious ways so he will be released to return home and be a good parent to his child.  
4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds 
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
If you need to catch up:
Teacher Encouragement 4

SYNSYSN?-Day 10

Hello Teacher Friends!!

When reading  today’s proverb, the tongue was mentioned over and over. We all know how a word harshly spoken can ruin a class period, so today I am praying verses 1 and 3 for students AND for myself. God, help us always speak the right words.

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:3
Here are links to the first articles in case you missed them and want to catch up with us:
Teacher Encouragement 5

Days 3-9: Should your next school year start now?

I’m off on my 25th Anniversary trip today- so I’m posting a week’s worth!  Love you, and God bless you as we each prepare for our next school year.

Proverbs 19:21 became my mantra for the end of the 2016-2017 school year.  I think I’ll post it above my classroom doorway next year and make all of my students memorize it.  I know that words have power, and I need to profess life and not death for my classroom and my students, so I’m going to use this scripture as the basis for my prayer journal for a whole week.

Day 3

Proverbs 19:21 “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I will profess life for my students.  My students will experience exponential academic growth.

Day 4

Proverbs 19:21 “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I will profess life for my students. My students will practice complete honesty.

Day 5

Proverbs 19:21 “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I will profess life for my students. My students will give kindness to others on a daily basis.

Day 6

Proverbs 19:21 “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I will profess life for my students. My students will experience peace and joy in my classroom.

Day 7

Proverbs 19:21 “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I will profess life for my students.  My students will love to learn and to complete their work with excellence. 

Day 8

Proverbs 19:21 “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I will profess life for myself. My students will have discipline and self-control.

Day 9

Proverbs 19:21 “Words have the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I will profess life for my students.  My students will have respect for the teachers and their classmates.

 

 

 

Teacher Encouragement 5

Should your next school year start now? Day 2

The 2016-2017 school year was my worst ever emotionally, but I’m anticipating 2017-2018 to be one of the best.  I am beginning a prayer journal for my students and their needs right now, today, June 6, 2017.   I’m going to prayer for my students and every facet of the school year beginning with one scripture or request a day and adding a request each day.  Will you join me? Do you have a scripture that we can pray?  Maybe 2017-2018 will be the best teaching year for all of us!  

June 6– Psalm 19:14.  This year in my classroom, “May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

June 7- Malachi 4:6a- God, we know that students don’t learn well when their homes are in chaos, so we are praying that you will heal families that are broken. We pray you will  “turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents. . . ”   We pray that fathers everywhere will be drawn to you and to their children.   

Teacher Encouragement 5

Should your next school year start now?

The 2016-2017 school year was my worst ever emotionally, but I’m anticipating 2017-2018 to be one of the best.  I am beginning a prayer journal for my students and their needs right now, today, June 6, 2017.   I’m going to pray for my students and every facet of the school year beginning with one scripture or request a day and adding a request each day.  Will you join me? Do you have a scripture that we can pray?  Maybe 2017-2018 will be the best teaching year for all of us!  

June 6– Psalm 19:14.  This year in my classroom, “May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

Teacher Encouragement 0

You can do it!!

Tomorrow is another great day to be a teacher!  We have been given an amazing opportunity to shape young lives by handing out knowledge, love, and encouragement.  It is no secret that I have been discouraged lately, but last week, a teacher friend named Becky pulled me aside and said, “You are doing a great job!”  Her words were simple, but I was amazed how much they encouraged me.

So I’m here to pass along the same encouragement to you.  You can do it!  You are a great teacher! You have a classroom full of students because God wants you there and He needs your exact gifts and talents with the exact students who will come into your room.

Tomorrow and every day after, I want you to remember a beautiful passage in Acts 17, “God determined the times and the exact places that we should live. God did this so that we would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’

God put you where you are so you will reach out to him for wisdom and help.  But more importantly, He put those students in your room so perhaps they would reach out and find God.

So remember, you can do it!  You can do it!  You can do it!!

Teacher Encouragement 1

For Teachers Only-(the rest of you shouldn’t even bother reading this.)

 

I don’t know about you, teacher friend, but I have felt completely overwhelmed at my job lately.  Last week was probably the worst one on record as far as my emotional state and my feelings of ineptness go– I’ve even developed psoriasis!    Oh Brother!! And I’m not even exactly sure why.  I guess it’s because I feel like I’m in an impossible situation: 92 students– each with a very specific set of needs, new technology, laws made by people who seem to have no understanding of the range of students found in a public school classroom, five of my own personal children who need love and attention, and only 24 hours in a day.

But as I was struggling and stressing last week, God reminded me of the verse, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.”  On Friday morning, when I woke up again next to tears but still hearing that verse, I looked it up and found the story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 14.)   The Nation of Israel was hopelessly trapped between the Red Sea and a Sea of Egyptian soldiers and their chariots.

There were three things that caught my attention from the story.  First, I noticed that the Israelites were terrified.  The Message version says, “They were totally afraid and cried out in terror.”  That’s me- enter psoriasis.

The second thing I noticed was that the Israelites began to whine and complain, “Weren’t there enough graves in Egypt?”  Again- ugh– I’ve caught myself complaining WAY MORE than I ever have before.

The third thing I noticed about the story was that the Israelites were actually already past the Red Sea, but God told them to “turn back” and camp right between a fort town named Migdol and the Red Sea.  God basically placed the Israelites in this impossible situation so He could show His power.  

And that’s where I feel I am– in an impossible situation, whining and complaining, and quite frankly terrified.  I have a deep passion for each of my students to grow and be successful, but I’m not sure how it’s going to happen.  I imagine some of you might feel like you are in the exact same situation.  But God is saying, “I will fight for you, you need only be still.”  (The Message Version actually says, “God will fight the battle for you.  And you?  You keep your mouths shut!”)

So I am going forward this year knowing that God is fighting for me and for my students.   I have made the decision to stop complaining and to recognize that I shouldn’t be afraid.  The same God who took more than 600,000 Israelites across a dry sea bed can certainly handle taking my 92 students and me through a year of state standards and discipline issues.

I’m choosing to live in the truth that “The Lord will fight for me, I need only be still.”

How about you?

Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today this year. (Exodus 14:13)old-age

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