Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Reflection

It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.

~ Eric Hoffer

For the last 24 days (all of November), I have tried to reflect on the things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, and just like each and every year, there is a plethora. On a daily basis, I wake up and am incredible thankful for my husband: the unconditional love he gives me; the work ethic he has; and the drive and ambition he puts into his career and also into being a better man. For the last twenty plus years I have been thankful for my family; each and every family member. I am amazed by the continual and growing bond between me, Zach and Courtney, and feel blessed by our relationship. I am thankful that my parents have been such great role models and incredible providers. The relationship between my cousins, aunts and uncles is a true testament to God’s way of making sure we are never alone. Then, there are my friends: I have such kind, good-hearted friends from all the different journeys in my life, and they have helped to shape me into the woman I am today. Family & friends, a consistent thing I am thankful for each year. Each year I am also always thankful for material items: my warm home; the car I drive; the ability to put food on the table.

As I sit down this Thanksgiving Eve and really truly reflect on what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving, of course everything above comes to mind, but one thing different from all the years in the past stick out: my career. Yes, you read that correct. I am so incredibly thankful for my teaching career and the 28 students I am able to influence each and every day.

I went through four years of college and one full year of student teaching always in anticipation and extreme excitement for the day I got to have my very own classroom; I couldn’t’ wait. I had wanted to be a teacher since my senior year in high school, and I couldn’t wait to have my very own classroom full of energetic, engaged students; a classroom full of many books; and a classroom full of a true love for learning. All throughout that year of student teaching I imagined what it would be like with my very own classroom; I knew it would be pure bliss.

Then, I landed my very first job. All summer I envisioned what this classroom would look like, feel like, and sound like. Then, it all started and it wasn’t at all what I had dreamed. In fact the last three years of my teaching career haven't been what I had envisioned at all what-so-ever. To be honest, it had been so much of an opposite of what I had dreamed that I questioned my choice of careers on a daily basis. I was disappointed in myself and thought others were too; after all, how could I spend five years and a lot of money on a career I dread.

For the first time since August of 2007, I feel completely different, and it is what I am most thankful for this year; for the true love and passion for teaching that has been reinstalled in me. Just like in any career, there are rough days, but 97% of the time I wake up excited to come to work each and every day. As for the other 3% when I am not excited, my students usually are able to change my attitude with their positive attitudes as soon as they enter my classroom door with their love for learning, and their care for one another. I love spending my days with fifth graders, seeing them grow, and sharing with them my love for learning- especially my love for literacy.

So this Thanksgiving, when someone asks me what I am most thankful for, I will be sure to let anyone who asks know how thankful I am to have a career that I love, that is influential, and that has the ability to bring so much happiness to my life and the life of my students. And as for my Thanksgiving wish: I wish that all of my students will feel my love for learning; will remember me by my passion for them and my love for literacy; and will grow into adults with passion for their life and their careers’.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!!!

Until next time,

H =)