Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Sayings: #imonyourside



#imonyourside

It’s more than just a hashtag. It’s a mantra. It’s the capital letter and the exclamation point, the alpha and omega, the intro and conclusion to all that my cousin Laurie says and does with her students. Inserted at the end of most every classroom tweet, framed on the wall in her class, and repeatedly spoken face-to-face, her mantra says to students that that no matter the situation, both in school and in life, she’s approachable, available, and in their corner.  

I believe Laurie would agree with me that classroom mantras are not frivolous add-ons. On the contrary, they're valuable and foundational to the health and culture of the class. Dare I even say, they're life changing. I regret to admit that it was several years into my career before I discovered mine: 

You're full of greatness.
Listen to your heart.
Kindness is more important than getting your own way.
It's not always easy, but it's important.

These mantras are applicable to six-year-olds but also have lasting power. Their 45-year-old selves will benefit from these words too, which is why I wish I had found my mantras long ago. I'd like to apologize to those many students who missed out on these messages. If only I could return to those early years, sit the children down, who are actually no longer children, and make a few more worthwhile deposits into their lives.

What are your mantras? Don't wait too long before you know what they are. If need be, borrow from a teacher you trust until they become your own. I believe you'll find them to be powerful and worth repeating and will most likely return to you on the lips of those students in your care, which I believe is one of the highest compliments possible. "I'm on your side, Miss Roberts." I know Laurie's heard that a time or two. 

Be intentional and then consistent. Find your mantras.

P.S. But the way, here's a link to my newly published book for teachers. I'd love to share it with you. Click on the graphic to find out more.






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8 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I have been asking myself if I have the title of my first book: I'm on Your Side.

    Thank you for continuing to be on my side, and for urging me to make my saying into an actual mantra in the last few years.

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    1. Laur, Sounds like a great title to me. Yes, write that book!

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  2. As always thought-provoking Tammy. This is something I will have to think about-our class mantra because I honestly don't have one right now. P.S. My copy of your book comes tomorrow--super excited!!!!

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    1. Miss Trayers, maybe you already have one and just haven't identified it as such. I know you have that kind of culture in your room! P.S. Ooh, I'm so excited to hear of my book's arrival too!

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  3. I don't have one either, and I wish I did. I'm retiring from teaching in exactly five days and while I know that I tried my best to be kind and fair and love them all, I also wish I could go back in time and "make a few more worthwhile deposits." Thank you for all that you do, Tammy :)

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    1. Barb, I didn't know you were this close to retirement! I'm sad for the children but happy for you. You've had an amazing career and deserve a break. I hope we can stay connected!

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  4. I need to do a better job of sharing my mantras with the little ones in my classes. Your posts do such a nice job of motivating me!

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    1. Sara, I'm glad this is a motivating place to visit. I'd much rather be motivating than bossy. :)

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