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My Love Letter to Teachers on the First Day of School

Well good morning, my friends!

We are LIVE Facebook-style on Wednesday morning vlog with John O’Leary. I am delighted to be with you this morning on a bit of a wet, rainy, unusually chilly August morning.

This is the start of the school season for almost all of us, and I’ve had the honor over the last couple weeks of speaking to a bunch of staff that are going to be educating our kids going forward.

I had the great pleasure of speaking in Hannibal, MO on Monday morning, early. And one of the board members for the school district spoke directly before me.

This gentleman shared some surprising stats that sum up an educator’s life, and as I get ready to read these stats to you, I recognize this: About the only people who aren’t going to be able to hear this right now are the teachers, the ones that I’m reading this for, because they’re already in their classroom. They’re already wiping down the white boards or chalkboards. Already getting ready to greet their kids. They’re already doing their job, getting ready to educate the leaders of tomorrow.

And so I ask the rest of us to reach out to a teacher today- share this post if you like later on- and tell them thank you for not just filling pails, but for igniting fires. For making truly a transformative difference.

Because these stats sum up the life of an educator. So here we go, my friends!

(I want to thank you for being us this morning Kim Landry and Abby and everybody else who’s tuning in. We’re glad you’re here.)

1. Teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money on classroom supplies each year. This is what the average teacher just does!

2. Teachers work an average of 50 hours per week. And if you are a teacher, or you’re married to one, you know that this number is probably less than the real number. They work a lot of hours!

3. Teachers work an average of more than 400 hours of overtime each year.

4. About 30% of our teachers have a second job.

5. More than 65% of teachers paid for food or covered the cost of a field trip for their students.

6. 88% of people say that a teacher had a significant and a positive impact on their lives. And here’s my own stat, the other 12% lied! I think 100% of us have had a teacher making a significant and a positive impact on our lives. (Mick, I know you know that one. And Mary, you feel it, too!)

7. During cold months, one out of every three teachers bought coats, mittens, and/or other clothes to keep their students warm. 33%!

8. Around 3.5 million students will graduate US high schools this year, and they’ve all been influenced by teachers, just like those listening right now.

9. 98% say that a teacher can change the course of a student’s life. That is absolutely true as you guys all know. We do a podcast. In fact, that’s part of the reason why we celebrate this morning. To introduce you to a guy named Mick Ebeling. So frequently during these podcasts, the individual that I’m interviewing will say, the person who most impacted their life- not a parent, actually- was a teacher. A third grade teacher who believed. A piano teacher who said, “I see it within you.” An art teacher who thought, “How can we see beyond the lines the rest of us are constricted by?”

10. The final one that I want to share with you this morning. These are stats that sum up the life of a teacher. On average, teachers effect more than 3,000 students during their career. How many of us have had the great fortune of saying that we were part of positively impacting, and significantly impacting someone else’s life, profoundly for the year?

So as we get ready to launch our little ones or our grandchildren or our nieces and nephews off to another school year, as we get ready to pour a cup of coffee and head off to our own jobs, I just thought we ought to pause today to recognize, in great part, the reason why we’re able to do what we do in the first place, is our educators.

Our teachers.

Early educators.

PreK leaders.

Our first – eighth, our freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior teachers.

All these ladies and all these gentlemen who don’t just fill pails, says Yeats, but inspire and ignite fires within us.

My friends, if you want to read and then learn about a guy who is igniting fires in the community, check out Mick Ebeling. I had the great fortune of interviewing him on our most recent podcast. It’s called Live Inspired with John O’Leary. It’s an awesome podcast.

They’re all pretty significant, but this week with Mick Ebeling, learning how to do the impossible. This is what educators do naturally, but this is what Mick is teaching the rest of us to do.

It’s one of the most stunning, positive podcasts I’ve ever been part of. I’m encouraging you right now, after you and I say goodbye right here (Michael Boller and Hilda and everyone else), cruise over to our podcast channel. Check out Live Inspired with John O’Leary.

Check out the Mick Ebeling podcast, and get ready to do the impossible in your own life.

So for this time, and until next time, this is a big love letter to the teachers out there. I love you guys. Thank you for the work you do. It is profoundly important!

See you next week!

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