There is no better time of the year than Thanksgiving to sit and reflect about what I’m thankful for as an educator. Among all the ups and downs of teaching, there really is no other profession that stands close to what teachers can do. It’s a great time to show thankfulness and gratitude for all the great things in the life of an everyday teacher! Some are silly but all are reasons that make a teacher smile. Let’s reflect on what teachers are really thankful for:
- Other great educators. I cannot say enough about all of my amazing colleagues. Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, school psychologists, social workers, and school counselors. By ourselves, we are just part of the equation – but together we make an amazing team that can battle any problem or concern that arises. I absolutely love going to a colleague for advice and support when something difficult comes up. Schools are a wealth of information all around, and I’m definitely thankful for that.
- Paraeducators. Yes, paraeducators deserve a spot all to themselves! They are truly what makes special education work. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing paraeducators who have basically been co-teachers in the classroom. Thank you to paraeducators everywhere. You are valued.
- Working copy machines. So this one might seem silly but a working copy machine is worth more than its weight in gold at times. All teachers have had those days when we just need one or two copies to get us through, but the machine is down. It really messes up the flow! So, I’m thankful for working copy machines and how you make my life easier. Thank you, copy machine, thank you.
- Parents who follow through. We call, we send notes home, and we e-mail. There are the several kids we wish we could take home with us, but we just can’t. So, it’s clear to state that we are thankful for the parents who follow through with our advice and work with us through significant challenges. Sometimes supporting the parents can be just as important as supporting the kids. With that, I’d really like to give a special thank you to the parents who go the extra mile to make sure the home-school connection is working at its best.
- Student-free lunch breaks. Teachers barely have time to use the bathroom during the day sometimes, so a student-free lunch really means a lot. Not only is it time to decompress and breathe, but it’s also valuable time with colleagues (adults) who make us laugh. It’s a critical break in the day that helps set the rest of the day off with a positive spin. I realize that not all teachers have a student-free lunch, but for those who do, we are most definitely thankful for it.
- Teachers Pay Teachers. I added this one because we all know there is just never enough time to recreate the wheel every single time. Something I’ve always loved about teaching is that every year is different. The kids and environment change, so it makes sense to always change our curriculum and lessons just a little, too. TpT has made a huge difference in the years I needed to teach several different content areas all at once to kids at varying levels. Of course, I’m a bit biased as an author myself, but I’m grateful for teacher authors who create amazing resources that help make a difference in the lives of educators and kids all over the world.
- Administrators who get it. Teaching is a tough job, but having supportive and understanding administrators can make ALL the difference. A huge thank you to all the amazing administrators who listen to educators, collaborate with us, hear our concerns, believe in us, encourage us to be better, and always have our backs.
- Coffee. Obviously, coffee. I’m not sure there is much else to say! There are some educators I know who don’t drink coffee and I’m not quite sure how they do it. Coffee continues to make a difference in my life, and for that, I’m grateful.
- Thanksgiving break. Yes, we love our students, but all educators could use a break this time of year. It’s a perfect time to spend time with family and friends, while recharging for the weeks leading up to Christmas. So grateful for Thanksgiving break!
- Getting to work with kids. They have innocence and make us laugh. They make mistakes but they get back up again. Getting to work with kids is truly unlike any other profession. I’m thankful to come into school every day and see their smiles. Regardless of what happens in the crazy life of a teacher, we are definitely most thankful for the kids!
What are you thankful for? Whatever it is, remember to reflect on it. Encourage your kids to do the same!