Close on the heels of Thanksgiving Break, the prompt for this week’s #YourEdustory blogging challenge asks what, as educators, we’re most thankful for. In this sentimental time of year, a topic like this invites an emotional response, and I’ll admit that my heart is on my sleeve as I jot out my answer.
So… I’m thankful for a job that is fun, and hard, and worthwhile. I’m thankful to work with people I admire, people who make me laugh, and people who inspire me to be the best I can be. Some of these people are adults, teachers, staff, alumni, and parents; some of these people are teenagers. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by exuberance and passion for teaching and learning every day.
I’m also thankful for my family. Not to go too far off topic, I know that any balance and sanity I’m able to bring to my work is a direct result of being married to a kind and supportive wife and gaining the perspective of being a dad to my amazing kids. Without my family, I wouldn’t be half the person, or educator, I aspire to be. They, more than anything else, make me who I am.
And finally, I’m thankful for the future. Being an educator means always looking forward. Filled with both possibility and uncertainty, what lies ahead encourages me, engages me, and motivates me. You’ll hear some say that working with students keeps us young, and while the fellow in my mirror doesn’t appear overly youthful, I do believe that those of us who have the privilege of working in schools do believe in the goodness of the next generation. We see in our students hope and change, passion and purpose, and the potential for greatness unimaginable.
For all these things, and the thousand small kindnesses I see around me everyday, I’m thankful. Moving into the final three (school) weeks of the calendar year, I hope to slow down enough to share my appreciation with those around me. It’s a busy time, a potentially hectic time, and (maybe because of this bustle) the perfect time to seek out those around us and say “thank you.”