Thursday, November 27, 2014

Put Down the Turkey and Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is naturally the time to reflect on all of the things that make our life wonderful. For me, this includes my wife, my soon to be first child, my family, my home, and my job. Today, I really want to focus on why my job, has helped shape me as a person and why I am thankful for that transformation.

Things I am thankful for:

1) Not becoming a sports radio host.

No offense to sports radio hosts, but if I would have stuck with that major, I would not be the person I am today. I have had hundreds of cherished memories with kids since I decided to become a history teacher. I have laughed harder than you could imagine, cried secretly when I witness one of my students overcome hardship to succeed, and worry endlessly about students as I think about the decisions they will inevitably make. However, if I wouldn't have decided not to pursue journalism, I would not have the privilege to feel the pride and inspiration in knowing that I had some small role in making a better tomorrow by providing for student needs today.

2) The student that made my first day more difficult than I would have liked.

I was so excited to complete my first day of teaching. I was almost there when a student stayed back as the class left. The student proceeded to talk to me about the struggles they had gone through and how they had contemplated suicide. In that moment, I began to realize that teaching was much more than the subject being taught. Teaching is about helping, mentoring, and preparing students for life. Sometimes this is difficult as we have students from difficult home lives, backgrounds and experiences. But teachers are on the front lines, ready to work with kids no matter what the day looks like. I am so thankful for that experience.

3) Learning from the learner.

I learned more about history, research, writing, presenting, and group work once I became a teacher than I ever knew before. Students have the most incredible minds and they question everything. This forces teachers to think on their toes, and make sure they come to every class with their A game. I learn something everyday from a student even as a principal. We are incredibly fortunate to see these young minds at work. And this is not just from the straight A student or the ASB President. These ideas and questions come from all of the young minds that come to us on a daily basis. This place of learning is truly inspiring.

4) People who want to teach despite all of the naysayers.

Teaching is a gift. Teachers are my superheroes. This is a job with a higher calling and I am so thankful to witness greatness in the field on a daily basis. This job has a direct impact on the future and despite all of the obstacles, great people still feel lead to take on this profession. Since the beginning of history, teachers have been instrumental in the fate of humans. This has never been more true than now.

5) The community rallies behind a school

I am so thankful for the families, businesses, organizations, and community members that volunteer
 their time and commit their finances to ensure student success. I get to meet people from all fields and backgrounds with the common goal of making great things happen for kids. I am so thankful for these opportunities and the dedication of the whole community. That is a great lesson for our kids to learn. It truly takes a village.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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