While every teacher’s journey is different, there are many elements that find their way onto every path within the field of education. This isn’t a profession one enters due to the monetary rewards it brings. As a profession of the heart, many of the takeaways are connected to the heartstrings rather than the purse strings.
Reasons to give thanks may vary depending on grade levels, subjects, and/or positions, but with the right lens, a lot of reasons to be thankful can be found. If teachers don’t see themselves or their journeys reflected here, the list can offer a starting point for making positive changes to school climate. In the season of giving thanks, here are 20 reasons teachers can give thanks on a daily basis.
As a teacher, I am thankful for…
- …the ability to make a difference each and every day I step into the classroom.
- …a group of colleagues that share a similar vision and operate as a sounding board for challenges and new ideas.
- …foundations started by people in the spotlight like George Lucas’ Edutopia/Lucas Education Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which offer tools and resources for education.
- …a front row seat when students experience lightbulb moments, both big and small.
- …extra-curricular programs and activities that offer my students safe and engaging choices for spending their time after school.
- …crockpots, instant pots, and take-out menus because the work-life balance can use reinforcements.
- …social media platforms where like-minded professionals gather to exchange ideas and strategies.
- …a support staff that helps me meet the needs of all of my students.
- …teacher discounts on everything from food and clothing to school supplies.
- …students that return to visit and update me on their lives 5, 10, or even 20 years after they have left my classroom.
- …the opportunity to learn from my students and grow both personally and professionally from all they teach me.
- …online programs and applications like Google Suites that allow me to streamline information and collaborate with students in real-time.
- …teams of dedicated professionals that gather for IEP, 504, and/or RTI meetings to ensure all students experience the best learning journey possible.
- …the knowledge that I may be the only positive role model in a student’s life and the responsibility that goes along with that.
- …free programs like Khan Academy that offer resources to support students in a variety of skill areas and interests.
- …a professional calendar that closely parallels the academic calendar my own children follow.
- …programs that provide nutritional sustenance to my students before and during the school day.
- …hugs, smiles, and high-fives that remind me of the important role I play in my students’ lives.
- …companies like GEI that are dedicated to identifying high-quality products for learning.
- …schools and districts that are giving a facelift to learning environments and programs in order to prepare students for a changing future.
The takeaways that educators experience can really run the gamut. While every school year, day, and period may differ, the common thread that ties them all together originates in the heart. This holiday season and throughout the school year, teachers can find many reasons to give thanks.