Win a Teacher Appreciation Week gift pack from TechSmith

dentawheaderIt’s Teacher Appreciation Week and each day this week, keep an eye out on social media and here on the DEN Blogs, for your chance to win a special prize pack from our friends at TechSmith. Throughout the week, we will be sharing a question and will be looking to you for the answers.  We will be selecting up to four (4) winners per day who respond to each day’s question. Each winner will receive the following prize pack, courtesy of TechSmith.

  • TechSmith Chalkstar t-shirt
  • iMicro USB headset
  • tsc-grey-100px1 license for Snagit (PC/Mac)
  • 1 license for Camtasia Studio (PC) OR Camtasia for Mac

Here’s the question for Monday.

What’s the best piece of advice or encouragement you’ve been given, and who gave it?

You can share your answer in a variety of ways. Leave a comment here on the DEN Blogs, respond via Twitter using the hashtag #DENlove, or post your response on Facebook or Google Plus, also using the hashtag #DENlove.



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  1. Christina said:

    The best piece of advice? “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like me!” –Stuart Smalley

  2. Erika said:

    The best piece of advice I have ever been given was to start the first day of discipline in the classroom the first day in school firm and sound to get the control up front. If you do not follow this, there will be no chance for order all year.

  3. Stephanie said:

    Stand up for what you believe in, and be willing to step up and take a risk.- My High school speech teacher.

  4. Thomas McLaughlin said:

    Find your level of tolerance and then hold your students to one level higher. They will never be able to push your buttons.

    From a mentor teacher.

  5. Heather Karpinski said:

    The best advice I’ve been given is to consider my library/media center a living organism that is constantly undergoing change and to be flexible so I can adapt to those changes. – My professor at East Carolina University

  6. Michael McNeil said:

    The best advice I was given was by my student teacher advisor. “Never get to the point were you lose control of your emotions and say something you will regret keep your calm and think “I only have this student for a year. Do I want to be remembered for something that is positive or something negative? Take a breath and everything will be okay.”
    Helped me numerous times when I have a truly difficult student or situation.

  7. Shobie Nichols said:

    Students will rise to your expectations, so do not sell them short by listening to others. You will impact a child in a way that no one else can. Challenge both them and yourself.

  8. Amy Bolvari said:

    Always use a phone call when conveying messages that could be misunderstood or misinterpreted in email.

  9. Tim Cooper said:

    My best piece of advice as a first year teacher (received from my mentor) was to find some friends in your school or district to hang with after school. New job + (possibly) new town + stress of teaching + first year teaching = need for friends to relieve stress with!

  10. Anne Truger said:

    Best advice my mother gave me is if you are not happy doing what you are doing then make a change! You control your own destiny! (She was sooooo right!)

  11. Rachel Yurk said:

    Best advice given to me as a teacher: Never forget that each of those kids are someone’s reason for living and breathing. #DENlove

  12. Betsey Beasley said:

    The best advice I was ever given was during a conference session with Kevin Honeycutt. He said that the classroom should be completely and totally student centered. Therefore, as educators, we should do all that we can to engage, facilitate, guide, and provide them with the best and most comfortable learning environment possible. They are why we are here and we should remind ourselves that daily!

  13. Elisha Reese said:

    The best advice I have been given as a teacher was from my mother (a teacher herself). She said “Just treat every child as if they were you own and everything else will fall into place.”

  14. Jessica Hedrick said:

    The best advice is to teach in my style, don’t try to teach someone else’s way. Your personality comes out in your lesson and teaching in someone else’s way will only make you miserable and your students won’t get anything out of the lesson. You can’t inspire others to be great if you aren’t being the best you.

  15. Megan Trimble said:

    The best advice I was ever given was “avoid the staff lounge at all costs during the school day.” While it may sound “anti-social” that isn’t the case at all. The advice has helped me to avoid conflicts, drama, etc.. while forming more close-knit relationships with colleagues outside of class or while actually working. Instead of isolating myself in my room I work lunch duty and get to interact with and learn so much about the students. This has become one of my favorite aspects of my job. This piece of advice has served me well in terms of being a true professional.

  16. Michelle said:

    The best way to predict your future is to create it.

  17. Kellie Bean said:

    The best advice was given to me by my 5th grade teacher. I returned year after year to visit her and keep in touch and noticed that every year she was trying new things. She demonstrated and valued what it is to be a true life-long learner.

  18. Kim Dailey said:

    Find at least one thing to love about each child was the best advice. It came from my student teaching professor.

  19. PS said:

    The best advice was given to me by my grandmother. She told me that my best is enough and I can’t stress out about it because I’ll never be able to give more than my best each day.

  20. PS said:

    The best advice was given to me by my grandmother. She told me that I can only give my best every day and that I shouldn’t stress out because I can’t give more than my best.

  21. Sam Kar said:

    The best piece of advice given to me was “to do what you want to do, rather than just follow what others are doing”. It was given to me by my school teacher.

  22. Denice Diab said:

    The best advice I have ever been given as a teacher, is if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. As a new teacher, I would get very frustrated with myself when my students weren’t understanding or struggled with a topic that I had just taught. I learned to teach, and reteach in different ways to reach all of my different levels of learners.

  23. Jennifer King said:

    Listen, be present and never lose your sense of wonder.

    –a very dear and wise professor 🙂

  24. Peter Folks said:

    Your education is the one thing you own and no one can take it from you. Make your education a top priority.
    Bio Professor

  25. Terry Glen said:

    “Patience is the greatest gift you can give yourself as a teacher”.

    Advice was given to me two days before a teacher retired after 34 years of teaching.

  26. Michelle said:

    Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
    but that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.

    We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
    gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.

    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
    so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

    We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
    It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
    And, as we let our own light shine,
    we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
    – Marianne Williamson

    Paraphrased “GO AHEAD – BE AWESOME”

  27. Cynthia said:

    I’m not sure who said it but the best piece of advice I ever received in regards to education is “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

  28. Dave Tchozewski said:

    My Master’s advisor said “Do what is best for the students.” When in doubt about a decision, I try to recall that advice.

  29. Lisa Janas said:

    The best piece of advice I ever got came from two sources – a former teacher and my mother – \you never know what you can do until you try…dare to be great!\

  30. Bobbi Gurney said:

    My dad who was an administrator for 39 years; 1) Teach like your hair is on FIRE! Then close the door & go home. Don’t take school with you. You can only teach if you are healthy. 2) Trust your instincts and always do what is best for your students. Fads will come and go, but teaching directly to your kids learning needs is consistent. 3) Finally, if someday you find don’t love the kids or the job anymore, get out of the classroom!”

  31. Mario Eleftheros said:

    Best advice was given to me by a student. “Did anyone get hurt? Did anyone die? Are we (the students) all coming to class and learning? Well, keep doing what you are doing. Everything is fine.”

  32. Crystal Batty said:

    Every child deserves time. Time to play, space to play, open-ended materials to explore, and friends to play with! They need time to develop their imaginations, bodies, and creativity. Play is not a luxury or a spectator sport! Play can build childhood memories of JOY, DELIGHT, RELATIONSHIPS, and FUN! Memories that will serve them well as they travel through their lives!

  33. Stacy Nowak said:

    The best advice I ever received was to treat every child like I would want my own child treated.

  34. Fran Brown said:

    The best advice that I ever received was to get to know my students as individuals. I learned from my mother, who is a teacher, that it is important to form relationships with each student so that they can trust you and feel comfortable in your classroom community. I saw this example in my mom. Each year, I take the time to give my students interest surveys and learning style inventories so that I can get to know them not only as an individual but also as a learner. The time spent getting to know my students and encouraging them to get to know one another is very well spent!

  35. Emily said:

    It’s ok to fail. We learn best from our mistakes. I heard this from speakers at the US News STEM conference but it was repeated by one of my supporting teachers at my school. As a new teacher it was great to hear that it’s ok if I’m not a perfect teacher my first year.

  36. Kim said:

    The best piece of teaching advice I have received was try to find something your like about every single child, even if it’s only the shoes he’s wearing. P. Mika gave me this advice my first year teaching, and I have never forgotten it.

  37. Randi said:

    “You are valuable. And you are worth it. Others are worth it too. Make them believe it.”
    A mentor in my life told me this in a rough time in my life. I think about it often when I hear of other peoples battles in their lives and know that others have it worse then I do.

    • Julie Wray said:

      Using this with my 19 year old daughter!

  38. Dana said:

    The best advice I have received is “if you don’t have the child emotionally then you don’t have him academically”. With all the pushing of curriculum and state testing, we can lose our perspective that the connection we make to our students is the key to opening their hearts and minds to learning.

  39. Aastha said:

    One October night, when I was talking to my favourite writer, I said: I want to be like you–a great writer. And instantly he replied, “Don’t try become like me, because I am not great. Maintain your own individuality. You will rock one day.”

    I followed his advice and today I think I became Head Girl and Prom Queen of my school only because of this individuality and the confidence his words blessed me with. I was also selected Best Student for the year 2013-2014 and its all because of him. He told his funda in life– No past, No present. Just live the present. He is the man behind my success and I feel so sorry that we are no longer friends. I lost the Diamond.

  40. Aza Thompson said:

    \Remember you have to take time for yourself.\ Head counselor at my current school. I try to, but don’t always succeed.

  41. Lisa W. said:

    Remember, every student in your class is someone’s whole world.

    Saw it on my coworkers desk, has always stuck with me.

  42. Tracie Belt said:

    The best advice I have ever been given is from my grandma. She told me to “Grow where you are Planted”. I have had to teach in many different schools and many different grades due to my husband’s career choice. Growing where I was Planted helped me learn how to be a flexible thinker and to help me learn that I can teach anywhere and any grade if I decide that I what I want to do. Thanks Grandma!!!

  43. Erika said:

    If you don’t know something don’t be afraid to tell the students “I don’t know” and then search for the answer together.

  44. Stanley Paul said:

    Your possibilities are endless was told to me by Dr. Ulysses’s Hunter a former Mathematics professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, who was one of the finest mathematicians I had to opportunity to meet.

  45. Joanne Koukoulas said:

    One of the hardest things to do in life is , \to keep things simple\. We all have so many endeavors, but keeping things simple help to focus you!

  46. Tracie Belt said:

    The best piece of advice I had is to always be friends with the maintenance dept. and the assistants to the heads of the schools. They are valuable to you and treat all alike…after all we need to work as a village to get anything done and everyone is equally as important…but most of all be open to learn something from a child everyday. They are incredible sources of knowledge and taking time to listen to them can make you appreciate why you are there in the first place.

  47. Joanne Koukoulas said:

    The most difficult thing to do in life, “is to keep things simple. There are so many things you want to achieve and when you keep things simple, you also keep your focus!

  48. Vicki Curtis said:

    The best piece of advice was given to me by one of the senior faculty at our college. He taught biology in huge lecture classes. At the first class of each new semester he would stand at the classroom door, Polaroid camera in hand, and take a picture of each student as they entered the room as he asked them their names and wrote each name on the freshly drying picture. He would go home that night and study every picture and name, so when students continued in class each week, he would know them by name. This was quite an accomplishment as each of his classes held 70-100+ students. He told me that there is a person and story behind each face, and it is our job as teachers to not only get to know that story, but also to help the student learn to tell it for themselves. He has long since retired, but to this day, I make it a practice to know each student’s name by the end of the first class as I open the book on their story. #DENlove

  49. Tracy said:

    Always respect your students for the person they are trying to become. No learning can occur if your do not respect your students and they do not respect you.

  50. Dorothy Smay said:

    The best advice is to always remember you cannot please everyone all the time, but you need to keep trying your best. After all, someone will be pleased with your accomplishments and we must always put our best foot forward. Sometimes your influence is not immediately seen or appreciated, but when it is recognized it was definitely worth the wait. Keep smiling…!!

  51. Laura said:

    “Students will rise – and fall – to your expectations. If you expect them to fail, they will. If you expect them to make trouble, they will. Treat them like super kids and they will be super kids.” ~ My mentor teacher

    I find myself adjusting my expectations often. I try not to listen to lounge gossip because I don’t warn prejudices to taint my relationships with my students.

  52. Margie Rogers said:

    Ask for forgiveness, not permission. Take risks as a teacher to do whatever it takes to grow your kids. If you have good reasons for doing something for kids, do it. There will always be naysayers, but if you know to whom you are ultimately responsible (kids, then bosses…not peers) it is easier to defend your choices.

    Oh, and the custodian and secretary are truly your best friends. Get to know them and you will find lots of help and doors opened. ????

  53. Ruth Madewell said:

    Best piece of advice: ” Joy and happiness are a choice, and not dependent on circumstances.”

  54. Christine Pearson said:

    “People can take away your possessions, including money, house, and food, but no one can ever take away your character. You are who you want to be.” Me/inspired by Holy Bible

  55. Kathy Seibert said:

    My Dad a minister always quoted this sscripture to me……\Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.\ He has never failed to make everything right even when I turned it all wrong!

  56. Gerald Kozlowski said:

    Mine remains the same for years and years: Plan your work; and work your plan. Try it for one day and see what a difference it makes. Don’t make a to-do list at first, just focus on an important task for that day and watch how it applies for the next day, and all the ones after that. It’s remarkable!

  57. Ed Lee said:

    Always prepare 1 1/2 times the amount of amount of material you think you’ll need for class. Your students will never get bored, they will behave better and you become more credible as a professional!

    Dr. S.M. Trickey,
    School of Music, UNT 1975

  58. Steve Hayes said:

    If feeling highly valued counts as encouragement, then it’s hard to top what occurred 14 years ago when my wife and I were adopting our daughter in China. Two children were being adopted, my daughter and her best friend from the orphanage. Her friend was being adopt by a family who’s father was a nuclear engineer. During one phase of the adoption a group of individuals asked the fathers how they would raise their daughters. The other father was went first; they ask him various questions for 30 minutes including how much he made each year. Then it was my turn, my salary was about 1/5 of his. They asked me my name and my occupation. As soon as the interpreter told them I was a teacher, they stood up smiled and (through the interpreter) told me how honored they were to have a teacher wanting to adopt a child from China. My interview was done.

    I was deeply honored by their respect, and we were able to adopt our fantastic daughter!

  59. Wendy Norton said:

    The best advice I ever received was from a college professor. He stated that I would be a good corporate trainer, but I would be a better middle school teacher. Teaching is a vocation he said I was born to share. I changed my major to become a teacher. Never looked back, this journey while difficult is well worth the effort.

  60. Sarah Thompson said:

    The best advice I was given was from my principal when I was a first year teacher. She told me that every day is a new day, and what may not work today, can be tweaked and tried again the next.

  61. Julie Wray said:

    “I like you so much, I almost love you!”, said a five year old kinder student. Doesn’t get better than that!

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