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A Cheer Me Up File

Keep a Folder of Glad Tidings to Yourself

Found in: Classroom Management

Do you have a Cheer Me Up file? Well, you should. For those times when you need to be distracted from whatever it is that's bothering you. To lift your spirits and get you going again.

A Cheer Me Up file might include such things as:

  • Anecdotes from the classroom -- yours and other teachers'
  • Jokes and cartoons
  • Inspiring quotations
  • Encouraging words clipped from magazines or newspapers
  • Kind notes from administrators, colleagues, parents, and students

To help you start your file or add to it, here are some anecdotes from NEA teacher-members originally published in NEA Today:

Reading Directions

As my principal Mr. H observed my first-grade class, I had students follow simple directions I wrote on the board. I tried, "shake Mr. H's hand." A sweet, shy girl raised her hand, walked up to the principal, and whacked him soundly across the back of the head. When I asked what she was doing, she replied, "You wrote smack Mr. H's head."

In his evaluation, the principal noted that the student did show recognition of beginning and ending consonant sounds. His only concern was where I was going to be teaching the next year. (He was only kidding.)

Alan Rosenberg
Timberville, Virginia

Getting into the Spirit

We had a "Camouflage Day" as part of Spirit Week at my high school. One of the freshmen boys in my elective class left his desk too many times that day, and I had to reprimand him. I warned him that I didn't want him to leave his chair again until the bell rang. I had to stifle a smile, though, when I overheard him tell a classmate, "I didn't think she could see me."

Leah Stevens
Lindsay, Oklahoma

The Vocabulary Lesson

While instructing my kindergartners in the proper use of computers, I reminded them it was important to use quiet voices. "Does anyone know why?" I asked. One student had an answer: "So everyone can constipate."

MariettaCanalizo
Plymouth, North Carolina

Following Directions

As a family and consumer sciences teacher, I constantly am amazed at my students' listening skills and cooking knowledge. I gave my eighth graders final directions for making soup and reminded them to peel the carrots and slice them into bite-size pieces. As I walked around the kitchen I saw a cutting board on the counter with a bunch of carrot slices on it. I then noticed one student with a vegetable peeler in one hand and a slice of carrot in the other. I watched as this student peeled each carrot slice. Needless to say, it took a long time to get those carrots ready for the soup.

Dixie Elmes
Westminster, Maryland

The Biography Lesson

Our freshmen were working on a project in which they had to find biographical information about Mark Twain from a source other than an encyclopedia. I noticed two girls working diligently, but they appeared perplexed. As I coached them through their thought process, I reminded them that thinking about a person's nationality, occupation, and life could help them determine where to find relevant information.

"So," I asked them, "what can you tell me about Mark Twain?" They looked at each other blankly before one said, "Isn't he Shania's husband?"

Terry Burns
Bluffton, Indiana

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