Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. LoVeD reading your post….and the SAM story truly resonates. I won't be back in school until Aug 18, but my head is already spinning with all the crazy ideas and to do lists (especially since I am changing schools) so I am as nervous (or more) as my kids.


  2. This is one of the best posts I've ever read. It is something I've been trying to tell other teachers. Thank you for pouring it in print. Students are people too and it is so important to take time to connect with them.

  3. I am moving to a brand new school after being at the same school for 15 years. I really appreciate this post – it made me re-focus on what is important and your story about Sam is one I will carry with me as I meet parents and students for the first time. Thank you.

  4. Even after 10 years of teaching, Meet the Teacher is always hard for me! I loved reading this though and it was a great reminder of what it's really all about!!

    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. So, so true. Relationships and a comfortable, trusting classroom environment are the keys to a successful classroom!

    Wild About Fifth Grade

  6. I've got to tell you, I might have had to brush a few tears aside after reading the Sam story! Each and every one of our students is Sam, they just all come to us with different needs. I wish I could feel like what you did for Sam was really no big deal because that's what all teachers do, but it isn't (what all teachers do), so it is (a big deal)! What a special kid Sam is, and lucky to have had you to celebrate his specialness with him!

    Oh…and the rest of your post…yah, that's pretty special, too!

  7. I'm so glad I visited today. I wanted to let you know that I'm featuring your Place Value Detectives on my blog today. I totally got distracted {in a good way} by this post and thing you are right on with everything you say! Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog today! <3

    A Teaspoon of Teaching

  8. I LOVED your story about Sam. It reminds me to be mindful of every interaction with my kids and their parents on those first few days. Even after 26 years of teaching, it's great to be reminded that parents send their dream in a pair of tennis shoes to us every single day.

  9. I don't usually post comments on blogs, but I felt compelled to let you know how much your story of "Sam" touched my heart. That what it all comes down to…forming that relationship with the students. Thank you for your inspiration and blog.

    One of your newest followers~


  10. Thanks so much for sharing your sweet Sam story. As a first year teacher it's easy to get caught up in the pinterest side of back to school. But your story is a wonderful reminder of the reason most of us become teachers in the first place – to somehow have a positive effect on the children placed in our class and in our lives.

    I will definitely be carrying a clipboard around with me at my Meet the Teacher Night. Great advice!

    Thanks again,

  11. What a great post! I'm a bit of an introvert by nature and the idea of having to make small talk with virtual strangers scares the bejeezus out of me! This post is full of great advice that I will truly take to heart. Oh and I literally "lol'd" at "the illusion of organization" So funny and I am all to familiar with that feeling!

    Kindergarten Kraziness

  12. Thank you for this awesome post! I had a very difficult year last year with several parents, which basically set a negative tone over the entire year. My goal this year is certainly to start off right away with a strong positive rapport with the parents. This post definitely helped to lay the groundwork to a good start to the year.

  13. I love your "Sam" story!!! It's so funny how students can cling to one little thing we say in passing. Last year one of my students brought in a stuffed animal for their desk (it was a coupon), and weeks later his mom said how he was STILL talking about the fact that I told him that I liked his stuffed animal (and apparently didn't say that to anyone else!). Your "Sam" story actually got me a little more excited about going back to school in a couple of weeks. 🙂

  14. The Sam story was beautiful! I am hoping to start an alternative program for certification and I'm still working to find a job. With that said, this post was so helpful for me because, even though I'm not officially hired, I'm still fantasizing and dreaming (sometimes stress-fully) about my first day of school. Your blog is amazing and I can't wait to try your suggestions in my classroom!