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A Love Letter to Teachers

by Mrs. Mimi
 | Dec 04, 2013

pete the cat saves christmasHave you ever read a picture book aloud and had this moment where life all made a little more sense? Or is that just me and my somewhat intense picture book obsession?

At least at my house, I’m not alone in my love for children’s books and more specifically, all things Pete the Cat. Last week, Mini Mimi and I were reading PETE THE CAT SAVES CHRISTMAS. Are you familiar with this soon-to-be holiday classic? In typical Pete fashion, this book has a catchy refrain that is woven throughout the story. As Pete works hard to help Santa deliver his gifts, he chants, “Give it your all, give it your all. At Christmas we give, so give it your all.”

After reading those words, I immediately thought of all of you in your classrooms and how you give it your all each and every day and was inspired to write this letter to you.


To Those Who Give It Their All on a Daily Basis:

Let me start by saying thank you. Thank you for showing up each and every day, not just on holidays, and giving it your all. You are magnificent and deserve a moment to celebrate YOU.

Being a teacher, particularly a teacher of reading, means sharing so much of yourself in addition to your knowledge of strategies, letter sounds, and authors. As teachers of reading, you help breathe life and joy into books during a time in education when learning can too often and too quickly become rote and lifeless. You celebrate student success and embrace their frustrations, pushing them gently to overcome obstacles that feel insurmountable in the moment. You constantly doubt yourself, wondering if you are doing enough, planning enough, reaching your students enough. But it is that doubt and self-reflection that makes you a better and stronger teacher who is able to give it your all.

You give it your all in terms of your instruction, and you also consistently give of yourself. You share your reading life and preferences with your students. You share your students’ favorite authors and books as well as their struggles when encountering an unfamiliar and challenging text. Being a teacher of reading does not just mean giving students access to instructional best practices, it means giving students some insight into who you are as a reader, a teacher, and a person.

All too often, I hear “rigorous practice” separated from discussions of “fun” activities. Yet so many of you strive every day to reconnect “fun” with “rigor” by coming up with new ways to engage your students with difficult concepts and texts. This type of instructional savvy doesn’t just happen, nor is it inherent in every curriculum. It comes from teachers who give it their all, just like our friend Pete the Cat.

So know that at least one person out there knows how hard your job is and how much of yourself you give to your students every day.

Happy Holidays!


Mrs. Mimi

Mrs. Mimi is a pseudonymous teacher who taught both first and second grades at a public elementary school in New York City. She's the author of IT'S NOT ALL FLOWERS AND SAUSAGES: MY ADVENTURES IN SECOND GRADE, which sprung from her popular blog of the same name. Mimi also has her doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


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  1. Donna | Oct 03, 2015

    Thank you for this inspiring letter to teachers.  Thank you for recognizing our dedication to our children and reinvigorating and encouraging us to bring the best to our students, parents and the educational community.  Seeing the joy in a student's eyes when they understand a concept makes it all worthwhile.

    Mrs Mimi's love letters to teachers is honestly very inspiring.Wishing TEACHERS all over the world HAPPY TEACHERS DAY. Dr Womiloju A.O(Secondary School Principal).

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