#DearTeachers: Trust in Your Own Teaching Magic

by | 05.4.20

LaVondia Menephee is a school counselor in Houston, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LaMenephee.


You know, when I learned we wouldn’t be going back to school this year, the first thing I did was sit at my kitchen table, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I will never forget being so anxious and overwhelmed. But I tried to give myself that time and let myself just feel all the feelings. Because letting myself lose it was my first step toward moving forward. I had to let myself feel it, first, before I could give to my school community again.

I know a lot of you are still feeling those feelings – and I want to say that’s okay. You’re not alone. There are so many things we don’t have control over right now. You might design a perfect lesson with particular students in mind, and then see those students haven’t logged in. We’re used to seeing our kids every day. When we’re at school, what doesn’t happen on a Monday, we can try to make up for on Tuesday. But now there’s no guarantee of engaging with all our students throughout the week. It’s disorienting.

Teaching is so very personal. They’re not just your students – they’re your kids. As the school counselor, I feel the same way about the teachers I work with. Sometimes I’m sitting here behind a laptop meeting with kids or teachers, and all this love comes flooding in. I think, “Oh, I can’t take it. I miss y’all too much.” 

But you know, there’s also something heartwarming about seeing all those faces coming together on the screen. There’s something amazing about being able to show up for our communities in a new way, when the act of being there means more than ever. And yet, we still try to be more.

I find myself thinking of ways to bring what is special about face-to-face time into this virtual time. I think this is an incredible opportunity for us as educators to reflect on our own brand of magic. I want you to ask yourself: “What do I bring? What do students love about me? What do I love about me as a teacher?”  

It’s good for you to know what you bring. Personally, I know I bring a lot of loving, yet firm energy – I’m more motherly mad scientist than anything. So when I’m with my students or my colleagues online now, I try to keep that same energy. I know anything else would feel inauthentic. The kids need your particular energy. They need it. 

We have to trust that when we focus on bringing our own magic to this work, we are doing enough – and our kids are going to get what they need. I want to tell you, teachers, that who you are – the magic you bring – is good enough. And it’s so very needed. 

Now if you have a special message you want to tell your fellow educators and #teacherfriends, I hope you’ll share it by building a custom graphic here: https://share.teacher2teacher.education/dearteachers

We could all use a little magic from this community. I’m so grateful for all of you – and all that you bring.

LaVondia Menephee

School Counselor

More community favorites


#DearTeachers: I’m so proud of us all.

by Amy Campbell

I’ve been teaching for 13 years, and this past school year has been like nothing I've ever seen ... and nothing I ever imagined. Flip-flop...