Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks

Teachers have a relatively thankless job. We spend 40 hours a week with students who are learning what it means to respect and appreciate. Translation: we sometimes go unrespected and unappreciated. We all have those students in our classroom who try our patience each day, the parents who attack before they ask any questions, and the administrative hoops that must be jumped through. 

After a particularly trying day, I read this article from Edutopia and thought it was a perfect sentiment for Thanksgiving week. The trying people in our lives so often become "bigger" than the people who are doing the right thing. It's sad, really....when so many people are doing the right thing. Let me tell you a little bit about my students:

- I have one student who, on her way out of my classroom, thanks me everyday. 
- I have a student who takes it upon himself to encourage his classmates to be respectful and kind, inside and outside the classroom.
- I have my wonderful basketball team who displayed such amazing leadership during their scrimmage with the Special Olympics. 
- I have a student who, when a friend faced with the typical "middle school" girl drama, told me she'd always wanted to be someone people could go to and she was just happy she could be there for someone else.
- I have a student who spent my first 3 months at the school pushing back on my authority because I was young. Now, a year later, he treats me with respect and amazes me daily with maturity and insight. 
- I have one student who offers me a hug whenever he senses I'm having a bad day
- I have a posse of 7th grade boys who give me all the fantasy football advice I could ever want.
- I have many students who come on time, come prepared, and come ready to learn.

And you know what? I rarely, if ever, thank them for that. On a small scale, I try to thank them when they carry something for me or when they check to make sure I've set my line up before the NFL's Thursday night game. But I don't thank them enough for being role models, for being leaders, and for making good choices. It might be a little early for New Year's resolutions, but I know this. One of my goals this year is to thank at least one more of my students everyday. 

Have a happy, safe, and restful Thanksgiving! And a word of advice....Put. The. Grading. Down. 

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