How about some motivation this Monday? I know it's summer and a lot of us have finally finished up our 2011-2012 school year, but some of us (like me) may have had a tough year. So, I thought, "Hey! Why not post a little something something for encouragement?!" I know, I know. I am sooooo amazing. Yeah, right.

Anyways, how many of you out there have a shelf devoted to teachery things people have given you as gifts? How many of you ever look at that shelf? How many of you see little devotionals or inspirational books that students, friends, and family members have given you in the past? How many of you actually read those little books? Thaaaat's what I figured. If you're like me, you rarely find the time to sit down and read a a book, let alone a book that might actually inspire you and encourage you in what made you want to be a teacher in the first place. How many times in the past could I have used some sweet words to get me going?! And they were there sitting on my shelf all along. I just didn't take the time to look. Well, for some reason, I thought today would be a good day to pull one of those books off the shelf and start reading. I was glad I did. Here is what I read and I wanted to share it with you today. I hope you enjoy it.

Heart of a teacher
by Paula J. Fox

The child arrives like a mystery box with puzzle pieces inside. Some of the pieces are broken or missing and others just seem to hide. But the heart of a teacher can sort them out and help the child to see the potential for greatness he has within a picture of what he can be. Her goal isn't just to teach knowledge by filling the box with more parts. It's putting the pieces together to create a work of art. The process is painfully slow at times. Some need more help than others. Each child is a work in progress with assorted shapes and colors. First she creates a classroom where the child can feel safe in school. Where he never feels threatened or afraid to try and kindness is always the rule. She knows that a child can achieve much more when he feels secure inside, when he's valued and loved and believes in himself and he has a sense of pride. She models and teaches good character and respect for one another, how to focus on strengths not weaknesses and how to encourage each other. She gives the child the freedom he needs to make choices on his own so he learns to become more responsible and is able to stand alone. He's taught to be strong and think for himself as his soul and spirit heal and the puzzle that's taking shape inside has a much more positive feel. The child discovers the joy that comes from learning something new and his vision grows as he begins to see all the things he can do. A picture is formed as more pieces fit an image of the child within with greater strength and confidence and a belief that he can win! All because a hero was there in the heart of a teacher who cared, enabling the child to become much more than he ever imagined or dared. A teacher with a heart for her children knows what teaching is all about. She may not have all the answers but on this she has no doubt. When asked which subjects she loved to teach, she answered this way and smiled, "It's not the subjects that matter. It's about teaching the child."