A Teacher's Thanksgiving Reflection

Teaching is complicated and sometimes downright impossible. There are countless viral stories from teachers about why they quit. I’m not too proud to say that I can relate to the struggles that push so many teachers out of the profession, but since it is thanksgiving week, I want to take a minute to remember the things I am thankful for as a teacher.

1. I’m thankful for a job that is never boring. With changing educational technology, changing student culture, changing standards, and all of the other things that pop up on a daily basis, teaching is anything but boring. I’ll take my dynamic and bustling classroom over my husband’s quiet office any day!

2. I’m thankful for ah-ha moments. It doesn’t matter if it is a struggling reader or an advanced placement student finally understanding rhetorical analysis; the moment when a student masters a skill or makes an epiphany is pure teacher magic.

3. I’m thankful I get to spend the days with my favorite authors. I don’t know what I would do if I had a job that didn’t support my habit of Twain, Salinger, Fitzgerald, and Shelley. What’s better is that I get to share these gifts with some pretty cool teenagers.

4. I’m thankful for colleagues that support me. We all face challenges in working with administrators and other teachers, but you can’t beat finding a small group that you can count on to support you in this crazy, wonderful job. I have a pretty amazing village that continues to raise me as a teacher.

5. I’m thankful that I have a voice for the future generation. Parents, social media, and friends will significantly impact the teens that come through my room, but I also have a voice to help inspire them to a life of critical thinking and pursuit of justice. I’ve had so many students come back years after high school and tell me that they finally understand the life lessons I tried to instill. Now THAT is an amazing feeling.

What are you thankful for this year?

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