As Thanksgiving approaches, I continuously reflect on what I am thankful for. While being a teacher sure can be frustrating (Who can tell Tommy what page we should be on?), and at times aggravating (How many SGO’s do we have to do?), it is important to remember how rewarding and enjoyable it is. There are a few things this year that I am particularly thankful for.
1. Students who are eager to learn
Clearly, there are those few students who are not eager to learn (or who may not be eager to learn the subject or lesson you are teaching). Those students can be a challenge, but I try not to let them discourage me. I know I won’t be able to reach every kid. However, I feel refueled and rejuvenated by students who simply try, ask questions, make mistakes, and try again. It is that simple. And when a student is able to forget about the grade and focus on the skills and the fun of learning, amazing things can happen.
2. Parents who want to see their children learn, be challenged, and grow (not just get an A and call it a day)
I cannot express how much I love parents who understand the role of education. At times, I feel the strong need to put out a PSA explaining to parents that education is not just a stepping stone to the rest of their life – it is a journey that should be embraced and enjoyed. Sometimes it is challenging and kids won’t always get it right, and that’s ok. Students come in to sixth grade language arts asking my least favorite question: “How many sentences should this be?”, and my heart breaks a little. My hope is that by the time they leave me, they are asking not how many sentences or paragraphs or pages they need, but “Do you think this piece is effective?”. When more parents value the ups and downs of education, students will too.