I am a few days behind on my gratitude challenge, so I will catch up in this post. Today I am grateful for hobbies, work, and friends and family.
I am thankful for my blog. I started it to keep the assignments for Teachers Write the first summer the program was offered. Then, I continued to post in it in order to have a forum to make book suggestions to my middle school students. It has morphed and changed throughout the years. Now, it is a place for me to reflect. There are two regular posts that I keep up with for the most part each week. A Monday collection of what I have been reading, and a Saturday celebration of the week. I enjoy taking time to write reflections and I definitely benefit from looking for celebrations. It has helped me be more mindful.
Teachers have a very difficult job. It has become more difficult in the last few years, with more paperwork and more expected of us.
My class this year has 27 students. 5 of those students have anger management issues, 3 students are newly arrived refugees who are learning English, 6 of those students have IEPs, and many of those students have attention issues and extremely short attention spans. According to our first district assessment, 4 students are on level in reading and 4 students are on level in math. Everyone else needs extra support to get to grade-level. I don’t say all this to complain, just to paint a picture of my current reality. I am exhausted at the end of every school day.
It is true that I have to work extremely hard and that my job sometimes (always) stresses me out. Yet, I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to be a teacher. I thrive on the challenge. I know how much these little souls need consistent love and encouragement and I know I can do that. It is rewarding to see the lightbulbs come on, to receive the hand-made presents and the sincere and tight hugs. I can honestly tell you that I am making a difference in the lives of many kiddos. That is powerful stuff!
Last Spring, I read Sir Ken Robinson’s guide about finding your element. I found the ideas very enlightening, but I didn’t really need to do the exercises. My element has already been found. I am very grateful for that.
Friends and Family
I am grateful for all the people that I love. I have a great network of supportive friends and amazing family.