Thursday, September 13, 2012

DEAR TEACHERS: Please Don’t Give Up, We Need You


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I can’t help but think that teachers have one of the most difficult and thankless jobs in today’s modern world, and on top of that, we desperately need them.  Nursery, preschool, kindergarten, and even grade school teachers are educating, disciplining, and pretty much raising the next generation.  I think teachers in the past had it a bit easier.  It was more of an autocratic society where discipline methods and styles were common across the board, allowing teachers to focus more on teaching and less on discipline.

Because of all the varying styles of parenting out there (including none in some families) and the greater amount of stress put on parents, teachers today have to discipline as well as educate and train our children.  Children raised in homes with little or no discipline, homes filled with adult emotional chaos, or with parents too stressed and busy to make parenting a priority, are being dropped off at schools and disrupting the classrooms more than ever before.

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I delivered the keynote at the annual conference in Philadelphia for the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children this past May and it was a keynote designed to help teachers find the strength to keep going back into that classroom, everyday.  The title was DON’T GIVE UP, YOU MAY BE THE ONLY HOPE A CHILD HAS TO GROW.  My goal was to inspire them to find their passion and to bring that passion into their classroom. 

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My intention was to help them see that they have the power to change at least one child’s life, even if that child is being raised with dysfunction at home.  I also reminded them that they may never see the fruit of their effort but must believe that it will occur.  I’ve always been inspired by a quote from author John W. Whitehead, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”  

In my keynote, I offered the teachers of the Delaware Valley some things they could begin doing immediately to help them find their passion.  Here are 6 of the most important of those things: - Full Online Preschool-Kindergarten- First Month Free - Click here!

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FORGIVE those who have done wrong to us or hurt us in the past.  Holding on to resentment, hurt, and anger eats the human soul from the inside out.  We don’t forgive for those who did us wrong, we do it for ourselves so that we may heal and move forward, not stay stuck in the past.  The power to forgive can have lasting affects to help us grow and live enriching lives.

REMOVE toxic people from our inner circle of family and friends.  Yes, even family!  Toxic people live dysfunctional lives and spread their dysfunction to others.  It is unfair for us to expect them to change without help but we cannot become their counselors or rescuers.  We must allow them to be who they currently are and take (sometimes extreme) measures to protect ourselves.

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TAKE criticism from others as just information being offered to us.  When information is offered, we have the power to consider it and make changes, or we can ignore it.  We must stop seeking out the approval of others and living our lives based on the opinions of those around us.  It is certainly OK to seek advice from emotionally healthy individuals or professionals, but it’s up to us to see the power we possess in taking action or discarding the information we’ve been given.

BE in service to others.  Volunteering for a community service organization provides assistance to groups who help others and in turn, we fulfill the human spirit to give.  There are hundreds of agencies in your local area that are in desperate need of help and all it takes is asking around to locate them.  Many people are afraid to volunteer because they fear the commitment will be too much and they will become overwhelmed.  But it is important for each of us to learn and practice the next tip…

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ALLOW yourself to say NO whenever necessary.  If you can’t say no, you’ll never grow to be all you were meant to be.  Most of us had parents who did not allow us to say NO at home.  As a result, many of us still struggle to say NO as an adult and we find ourselves doing too much for others because we could not find the courage to say NO or to know when to say “when.”  And even if we are able to say NO to someone asking us to do something for them, we feel great discomfort inside, feeling like we let someone down because in a sense, we’re still trying to please our parents.

MAKING time to take care of us.  Many of us do a great job of putting others first.  Some of this comes from the demands our parents made on us or it comes from the model our parents provided as we grew up.  In front of my audience at the conference, I produced an oxygen mask similar to the ones that fall down from the ceiling in an airplane in the event of an emergency.  I reminded them of what a flight attendant says during the demonstration before takeoff; “put yours on first, then assist a child in your care.”

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It is my belief that when we make the effort to implement some (or better yet, all) of these suggestions above, we are more likely to hear the inner voice that is trying so hard to guide us toward our life’s purpose and a sense of passion that ignites our spirit to follow it.  As a teacher, your passion may not come from teaching, but it may come from something else.  Whatever it is that provides it, you can take that passion and bring it into your classroom.  The result will be your ability to show up for the children in your care 100%, and the children will benefit.  You will then be sending messages to a time you will not see!

Want to share this article with your teachers as a hand out?  Download it for free by CLICKING HERE!

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bill corbett author love limits lessons parenting expert keynote speaker
Bill Corbett is the author of the award-winning parenting book series, LOVE, LIMITS, & LESSONS: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO RAISING COOPERATIVE KIDS (in English and in Spanish) and the executive producer and host of the public access television show CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS. Bill provides parent coaching and keynote presentations to parent and professional audiences across the country. His practical experience comes as a father of 3 grown children, a grandfather of two, and a stepdad to three, and lives with his loving wife Elizabeth and teenage step daughter Olivia near Hartford, CT.


  1. Well said, excellent points. I am printing and saving this! Thank you so much, Carolyn

  2. You're most welcome Carolyn. I just want to keep teachers inspired to do what they do. Our future depends on them!


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