Today's guest post comes from my dear friend Jessie (Thaler) Jackson. Jessie, a middle school English teacher reminds all of us in education to pause and appreciate the precocious young people we work with.
I have so many things to be thankful for this year- a joyful wedding surrounded by friends and family, a wonderful husband, an abundance of new kitchen tools that have made lots of exciting culinary experimentation possible; I could go on and on. But in addition to a wife and a home chef, I am a seventh and eighth grade English teacher at an all-boys school, and at this time of year, when the days are getting shorter, along with our patience, I think it's useful to engage in a little positive reflection. In that spirit, here are a few musing on why, even though it can sometimes be hard to remember, I am indeed thankful for my students.
I am thankful for Jonah, who saw that The Schwa Was Here was on my Book Fair wish list, and offered to donate his own copy of the book for my classroom library.
I am thankful for Connor, who brought in a rubric he got at a high school visit because he thought I might be interested in seeing it. (I guess he figured out how much I like rubrics when I made them all create a rubric for a food they enjoy.)
I am thankful for Jackson, who offered to go look for the missing pieces to Stratego after I lamented their absence.
I am thankful for the eight eighth grade boys in my advisory, who weekly share their frustrations and challenges, listen to each other, and offer sympathy and thoughtful advice.
I am thankful for the other Jonah, who always makes a point to spot his kindergarten "little brother" when the class walks through the cafeteria, and give him a wave and a smile.
These small gestures may not seem like much- I doubt the boys think anything of them as they happen- but in the midst of a long week of lesson planning, grading, writing report card comments, and of course, teaching, these moments remind me why I got into this job in the first place, and why it's all worth it. Middle school boys aren't always known for demonstrating kindness and empathy, but they're certainly capable of it, and for that, I am truly thankful.
If you too are interested in writing a thankfulness post for this November series send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I still have room for a few more. Here is a link to the original invite.