Why Elementary Teachers Are Amazing ... 13 Ways ... by Secondary Teachers

Teaching isn't easy. We teachers know this best. So we thought we'd ask secondary teachers the ways they are amazed by their elementary teacher colleagues. What a fun way to encourage each other! 
  Why Elementary Teachers Are Amazing ... 13 Ways ... by Secondary Teachers. What a fun way for we teachers to praise our fellow professionals. We can go through so many days hearing lots of negative, so we thought we could encourage each other with the reasons that you're awesome!          Two Words: Bodily Functions.
          I have so much respect (and awe!) for how you so patiently deal with runny noses, bloody knees, and peed-their-pants situations! You are taking care of our kids before they can take care of themselves, and you can't just point to the door and say "Go deal with that!" like I can. You have an expert poker face. I think back to the kindergarten teacher who would pull very loose teeth, and I wince - how on EARTH did she do that so quickly and efficiently for so many kiddos? How many teachers did she save from the squeam-inducing vision of kids turning their loose teeth around? Patience. Grit. Empathy. Sheer force of will.
          Over the years I have had many, many elementary education student teachers spend a semester working with me and I have always wondered how they could do what they do. But then they wonder about me and how I deal with over 160+ students a day. We always talked about how to keep 15-20 kids busy in 5-8 subjects everyday day. I remember my very first subbing job, an elementary first grade class - and it gave me a fear of NEVER wanting to teach. I could just never figure out how they did what they did. Yet, all my female student teacher loved what they were working towards. And as I email them today, they all seem to be happy in their choice.
          I have great admiration for all that you do.  I'm a high school English teacher, specialized in one subject.  I can sit at my desk for long periods (I don't but the option exists) and go to the bathroom when I need to.  I eat with grown ups, and although I usually have to scarf my lunch down and head back to my piles of marking, I get more than a few minutes to do so.  But you, you are a different teacher all together. You have to be a jack of all trades, an expert in math, English, science, geography, history, nose-wiping and shoe tying. You have to go outside at recess and negotiate through tattle tailing and tears. I get tired just thinking about the planning and juggling that must go into each and every day, a day that requires you to be a camel who gets very few breaks, even to eat your lunch. You also do such a fantastic job of preparing those little souls to move on to secondary, so we can pick up where you left off.  Thanks so much for all that you do!
          Teaching is the only profession where it seems everyone feels comfortable telling the experts (i.e. teachers) how to do their job. So what that you studied for this in college, got a state credential, often have higher degrees and regularly attend professional development. *sigh*  Elementary teachers get this more than other teachers: "Oh, you teach first grade... it must be so much fun to play with kids all day" "Right, but I mean you teach math to third graders...how hard is that?" ANYONE who thinks your job is easy has clearly not stepped foot in your classroom. I couldn't put up with this but you do. You let them know that teaching AT ANY LEVEL takes passion and expertise that not everyone has, despite the fact that they got a B in their third grade math class. Keep your chin up. We know you rock.
          Elementary teachers, you are rock stars.  As a secondary teacher, I usually have a full plate if I have more than two to three different classes to plan and prepare for during the school year, but elementary school teachers do it all. You expertly plan the entire day for all of your students. You  plan the math, the language arts, the sciences, and social sciences, and more. It is overwhelming just to think about. Planning a well-constructed, balanced day that is rigorous, engaging, fun, and inspiring requires a lot of outside planning and prep time. And for this reason, I take my hat off for all of you super star elementary school teachers out there. You definitely have your work cut out for you, and everything you do is greatly appreciated.
          The first time I volunteered in my daughter’s 1st grade classroom last school year, I came home and immediately took a nap. Just from volunteering, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Her teacher was phenomenal and didn’t miss a beat… ever. She transitioned from one subject to the next seamlessly and managed to have a class of 28 six year olds completely on task. When her classroom phone rang, or a visitor would walk in, the students sat respectfully. Middle school students see that time as an opportunity to show just how loud they can be. She did all of this while having NO real curriculum to work with. She was given a scope and sequence and pretty much told to “make sense of it.” She was a veteran teacher, so she certainly knew how to teach - but this was the first year with CCSS and everything she was used to was flipped around. She didn’t look exhausted though and she didn’t complain. She just did what she had to do because…. well she didn’t have a choice. Middle school teachers can get a bit grumpy sometimes (c’mon, you know it’s true) and I never saw that side of her. I literally left her room each Friday afternoon in awe of her ability to teach that many kids, in a small room, have them be on point with their classroom transitions and procedures, all while teaching without much direction and never… ever missing a beat. Elementary teachers - I salute you and your amazing ability to literally do it all.
          I have SO much respect for you! As a middle school teacher in a K-8 building, I see new examples every day of your patience, creativity, and differentiation to help every child grow. But most of all, I admire the way that you make learning so enticing to children. Not only do your classrooms and activities look visually appealing, but you model so much enthusiasm! Sometimes when I start a new unit with the big kids, I ask myself how a kindergarten teacher would pitch it and make the topic seem irresistible.
Secondary Sara

          Cuddling. Canoodling. Hand holdings. I enjoy some laid back personal time with my wife. Unfortunately, so do the 22 kids in her classroom. Personal space isn’t something you value until you’ve received 16 hugs before 8:45 in the morning. I don’t know how elementary teachers do it. As an 11th grade teacher, I’ve never had a student try to feel the fuzziness of my khakis in the middle of an activity. Proximity is important, but please respect my hula hoop of personal space. So, hats off to the elementary teachers - I am continually impressed with your ability to handle all of those kids at your feet. But get ready - hug 17 is coming.
The Class Couple
          Some of my favorite people on Earth are elementary teachers.  In fact, I'm married to one!  While I'm impressed with your ability to hang out with the same group of kids ALL day (not like us middle school teachers that can send out students packing after 45 minutes), I think I'm most in awe of the elementary teacher's versatility.  I mean ... you teach EVERY subject.  That's impressive!  You adapt to the varying needs of your students with grace and kindness.  Oh, and you transition between subjects, activities, and projects countless times in one day.  Elementary teachers are metaphorical toolboxes with just the right tool for every situation.  Thank goodness for you elementary teachers!
STORE: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Brain-Waves-Instruction
        I have had the privilege of teaching with and knowing some AMAZING elementary teachers.  It is awesome to be a secondary teacher and there is never a dull moment with our BIG KIDS, but the enthusiasm of primary teachers is mind blowing.  My daughter, a first grader, loves to visit her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bell, as often as possible.  My daughter says, "I love going to Mrs. Bell's classroom in the morning.  She squeals because she is so excited to see me and gives me the biggest hug that makes my feet leave the ground."  Does it get any better?  Because of her loving and energetic teachers, she can't wait to get to school every.single.day!  It makes both my momma-heart and teacher-heart feel completely full!
        To those primary teachers, you are more than we could ever ask for!  Thanks for taking such incredible care and giving those essential snuggles to our littles.  We adore you!
STORE: Erin Beers from Mrs. Beers' Language Arts Classroom
       Simply put- you do so many things I could never do.   You let them hug on you, wipe things on you, and deal with bodily fluids that I could NEVER handle.  You introduce them to so many new experiences and inspire their creativity and sense of make-believe.  You dress up like strange Dr. Seuss and storybook characters and leave the simple crazy socks days and hat days for me.  You spend countless hours decorating your classrooms, which gives me countless hours of stress and anxiety just trying to keep up with your crazy-good interior decorating skills.  You teach important life skills, like how to blow your nose, tie a shoe, wash your hands with soap and water - and I just have to remind them daily that these are skills they already possess.  Thank you for preparing the middle-schoolers I teach now.  You give them the foundation for which I simply build upon.  You mold them into motivated learners. They are who they are because of YOU!  Thank you!
STORE: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Science-Teaching-Junkie-Inc
       Elementary teachers are amazing because of their mad organizational skills!  How I adore all the perfectly labeled bins, the clever ways to hang up student work, the colorful and neat classroom organizer binders, those super toolkits, the lovely crate seats, and just general order!  I am constantly amazed at how you tame paper monsters, manage desk traps, and have all the other bits and pieces sorted.  I pin your ideas like crazy because I truly do want to be like you.  I really do want to know where my things are located so I can use them right when I want to and not have to spend a few days searching.  Alas, I am a middle school teacher and organization seems to be my nemesis.  I do try, I really do, but my treasures seem to multiply in spite of my efforts and no bins or closets can contain them.  So my hat is off to you, dear elementary teachers,for your most excellent organizational skills!  And if you need a summer project, I have the ultimate challenge you seek.
        I totally shout "Amen" to all the praise so far, and I'd like to add one more. I am amazed that you can be that joyful face for the same class of students all day long. You might look at us secondary teachers and think, "I don't know how you can teach 150-200 students a day," but trust me, we're looking at you thinking that we've got it made in the shade. If we've got a tricky student, we know we only have to survive for 45 minutes.
        But you ... you're amazing! It's easy to be patient, kind, and gentle to the little angel students, but you also get those needy, annoying, snotty, talkative, rebellious students all day long, and you love them with all your heart.
        Each year, there are students in your classroom that you are literally the ONE CARING ADULT in their lives. And you own that with all your love. We desire to do this too with our 8-10 times as many different faces in the day, but the impact you get to have on those kids being with you all day is truly life-changing. We applaud you, bow to you, are in utter awe of you. Keep on being awesome!
STORE: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Created-For-Learning

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