Teacher Video Memes

Just for fun.  

Hopefully you can relate to a few of these.

How to Make Smart Goals that Stick

Every year, I talk to my tween and teen students about the importance of goal setting.  I use the metaphor that life is a car ride.

It's important to enjoy this ride called life.  It's great to take a joy ride occasionally and just enjoy being in the moment.  Eventually though, you'd get tired of getting in the car and driving to random places without a destination or a reason.  Why would you do that with your life?  If you are just going with the flow and letting things happen to you, you really aren't in the driver's seat.  You are a passenger.  Life is about being the driver.  Go where you want to end up, not where somebody else wants you to go. 

Let's face it, if you don't plan your day, your day will plan you.  Many students are living in the moment.  They may have some goals in mind already but they often need fine tuning.  They also need to understand the importance of short term goals (pit stops) that help them reach their dream destination.  Most importantly, goals need to be SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.






Goals should answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why.  Who is involved in the goal?  What am I trying to accomplish in the end?  When will I know I'm finished?  Where will this happen?  Why am I doing this in the first place?


A goal needs to be measurable so that you know exactly when it has been attained.  If your goal is to be happy, how would you know when you achieved the amount of happiness that you need?  If you said you wanted to make better grades, you wouldn't be able to measure "better" because it is a relevant term.  You could use measurable number or letter grades.  So a better goal would be to say that you want to make nothing less than a C on your report card.


It's great to set your goals high, but be sure that it is something you can actually achieve.  Saying that you want to be a millionaire by next week would be out of most people's reach.  Be realistic so that you will take your goal seriously.


Is your goal worth the effort?  Does it fit into your overall plan or purpose in life?  Having a goal that speaks to your purpose in life is going to feel more satisfying and you will be more likely to strive for it when the going gets tough.


If you set a time limit on your goal, you will be less likely to procrastinate.  You will know if you are doing enough to achieve the goal in the amount of time that you have. You will also know if you were successful in reaching your goal.  You can always tweak your timeline if it becomes apparent that the time limit is not attainable.


Short Term Goals


What can I start doing right now, today?


Once a student fine tunes their ultimate goals for life, ask them to begin coming up with things they can do today, tomorrow, and the next day that will help them achieve their goals.  For example, a student who wants to play college sports could be creating an exercise plan for this year that would get them physically prepared.

When students see the big picture and realize that what they do today has meaning, they will be more interested in doing a giving their best effort.  This is why teachers relate their lessons to student lives.  They need to have a "stake" in it to make it more meaningful.

Do you have a SMART goals lesson or craft?  I find it easier to give students a craft that allows them to stay on task while I go over the parts of a SMART goal.  Even big kids like to color, cut, and paste!

My students and I are obsessed with Llamas, so this year I am using my updated Llama themed SMART goals flipbook.  They get to take the booklet home with them to remind them of what they learned.

Llama Relieve Your Stress

Student anxiety is at an all time high.  With grade level standards becoming more rigorous, and state tests looming, teachers are feeling more pressure than ever to prepare students.  That pressure is also felt by students and parents. Teaching healthy coping skills is critical for today's hectic classroom. By addressing mental and physical well-being, optimal learning can take place. 

The ther-llama-ter is a tool for labeling levels of stress and identifying coping skills that are appropriate for each level.  After coloring in their level of stress, students can be guided through coping skills that may help at each level.  From breathing skills to journaling, students find their favorite way to self-soothe.

Fa-La-Llama Holiday Party Craft

Holiday parties at school can be a lot of fun, "IF" they are structured and include an engaging activity.  These llamas in silly holiday sweaters can be taken home as a gift for the family after the fun is over.  Students pick a zen doodle writing circle and one of several llamas and sweaters to build these ornaments.  Teachers and counselors can work with students ahead of time by practicing what they will write on their ornaments.  Students will brainstorm things that they love and write about them. 

You will need:

Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils
Hole Punch
Download Printable

Red Ribbon Week Coloring Contest

"Your Future is Key.  Be Drug Free."


Red Ribbon Week is always one of my favorite weeks of the year. This year, I wanted to do something a little differently.  I started with the usual drug awareness lessons in class using videos from www.naturalhigh.org.  If you haven't been to this website, be sure to start with the video from Jon Sundt, the founder of Natural High so that you can get the backstory of how the website came about.  During our lesson, we watch videos from celebrities talking about their natural highs as they recount the reasons why they chose not to use drugs. Between videos, students brainstorm and share their own activities that give them that feeling.  At the end, they think of things that they would like to try that they haven't tried yet.  I end by challenging them to try new things.

After the lesson,  I passed out coloring contest papers and promised candy and prizes to the winners.  We really didn't expect to get as many entries as we did.  Entries have been pouring in all week.  Middle school kids really do enjoy coloring.  Give them a reason, and they will gladly color for you.  It's such a stress reducing activity, that I try to use some element of it in most of my lessons.  Check out some of the entries that we received.  You can get the free download for this coloring contest from my TPT store here.

12 Foolproof Teacher Morale Boosters

Like a beautiful campfire, staff morale needs to be monitored and stoked to keep the happy fires burning.  It's no secret that teachers are over worked and sometimes under appreciated. For most teachers, it's the little things that keep them going. Principals, administrators, school counselors, and parents can work together to create a positive school climate by paying attention to teacher well-being and being mindful of the incredible stress placed on them.

What Teachers REALLY Want

1.  Time!  

There never seems to be enough hours in the day in the life of an educator.  Respect a teacher's time by cancelling meetings that could be an email.  Treat their planning time as sacred.  In a perfect world, there would be fewer meetings, few evaluations, and less paperwork.

2.  Shout-outs

Recognize teachers with a bulletin board of acknowledgements or send around a binder to be passed from teacher to teacher with positive notes to each other.  Organize a Teacher-of-the-week program to reward teachers who are nominated by peers for going that extra mile.  Acknowledge staff birthdays on the intercom, with a hand written note, and/or a treat.  Grown ups are never too old to celebrate their special day. 
Check out this "Shout-outs Binder."

3.  Treats

Occasionally place candy, a small treat, or coupons in a teachers mailbox.  Another fun way to pass out treats is to create a cart full of goodies that you roll around the school on random days. 

4.  Compliments

Just like the students, teachers appreciate being noticed when they are going that extra mile.  Make it a point to say something positive to teachers face to face or on a note left on their desk.

5. Student Thank-you Cards 

Organize a time for students to create thank you cards for their teachers.  Guide students on how to make a thoughtful letter.  Have students brainstorm the good things that their teachers do for them.

6. Laughter

Bling the lounge with funny posters or play a game during a faculty meeting that makes them laugh.  Don't be so serious all of the time.  Admit your own faults and laugh at your mistakes with teachers.  Click for a few faculty morale ideas. 

7. Fellowship

Provide times for staff gatherings outside of school or arrange a pot luck during the school day.

8. Jeans Days

Allow dress down days as often as possible.  Teachers are busy and need to be comfortable to function at their best.

9.  Trust

Trust them to do their jobs.  Micromanaging can lead to hurt feelings.  These are professionals who worked hard to get their degrees.  They certainly aren't doing it for the money.  Let them be.

10. Self Care Reminders

Continue to remind staff in fun ways that they need to be taking care of themselves.  Teacher burnout is a real problem.  You could organize a self care week at school and find local businesses willing to give coupons for spas and other health services.  One of the faves at our school are the free massages in the lounge by a local chiropractor. See my post on hosting a self-care week.

11. A Break from the Classroom

Get creative in covering their classrooms for an occasional extended lunch or restroom break.  I mean, how much is it to ask to be able to go to the restroom when nature calls? 

12. Feeling Valued

Ask for teacher feedback on upcoming events and school-wide policies.  Include teacher representatives in some administrative meetings.  Have a feedback box for anonymous suggestions. 

I'd love to hear how your school recognizes teachers.  Please leave a comment with your ideas.

4 Ways to Arm Students Against Rumors

Turning away from a juicy bit of gossip can be difficult.  Even as adults, the temptation can be very real. However,  stopping a rumor in its tracks is always the right thing to do.  We need to prepare our students to properly react to rumors before they start drama in the classroom.

What is a rumor?

First, define gossip.  It's not always easy for students to recognize that they are participating in a rumor.  There are many definitions out there, but the main point of a rumor is that somebody is sharing information about someone who is not around to defend themselves.  Try this powerpoint presentation.

Why is it hurtful?

Let students know how easily facts get twisted around by the time they have been through several conversations. Also, people will say that they know something is true even when they don't. 

Four Gossip Tips for Your Students 



Use restraint and don't be tempted to spread a rumor.



The art of distraction is very powerful. Tell a joke or a story to take the attention away from the rumor.


Be Honest

Tell the messenger that you don't want to discuss something about somebody who is not there because you feel like it is the wrong thing to do.  Let them know that gossip can hurt friendships and you don't want to be a part of it.



Smile and don't respond verbally. Walk away and pretend to have other things to do.

Craft about it!

If you are looking for something to do with your students while presenting this material, try this fan that doubles as a tip sheet.  Drama Llama Presentation and Craft