Thursday, November 26, 2015


We have an amazing art teacher at my school who dedicates the day before Thanksgiving Break to gratitude each year. She has each student write notes, some anonymous and some signed, thanking someone who has influenced them at school. This year, one of her students chose to write this to ALL teachers instead of just picking one she sent it out to all of us. It was my email I received all day:
I'll be the first to admit that I love a good pity party. I think about not having to choose between paying off my student loans and using my 20's to travel the world. I think about having evenings and weekends to relax....maybe even go out! I think about being evaluated on my own merit alone, not on the amount that I'm able to overcome the host of outside influences on a  group of teenagers. It all sounds pretty appealing, especially when you're in a job that even said teenagers can see is under-appreciated.

But then I take a second and I think about those teenagers- the fun that I have with them on 8 out of 10 days, getting to witness them understand something for the first time, earning their trust enough to have tough conversations about what's going on at home or with their friends, the list goes on and on. I can't imagine a career where I don't get to share dynamic moments like that with a group of people who are excited about all that the future holds. We talk about "kids these days," but I have been lucky enough to know great kids who are going to make the world better.

So here's my yearly list of things for which I am grateful, work edition:
  • The opportunity to teach in a program that supports innovation, most notably in it's allowance for failure in the interest of growth
  • That I have spent my entire career surrounded by the most incredible colleagues
  • The people who have shaped my teaching, whether it was in person or through online collaboration (I'm looking at you, MTBOS). The whole "standing on the shoulders of giants" thing is so true- I am truly a better teacher for having worked with each and every one of them. 
  • The trust of those around me which has opened new doors to me as a teacher
  • That I married an educator who not only understands my insane work schedule, but pushes me to think differently about my own practice and my kiddos
  • nearly any form.
  • The truly amazing kids who challenge me every single day to bring my best and forgive me when I don't
Time to put on my stretchy pants and prep for my 3 favorite things: family, stuffing, and football. Happy Thanksgiving! 

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