Thursday, August 16, 2018

School Year 2018-2019: Gratitude

It is with gratitude that I begin the collaboration and efforts to launch school year 2018-2019. There is much to be grateful for as the year begins.

First, I am grateful to work with an amazing grade-level team--teachers who are dedicated to the students and families, collaboration, and building a wonderful teaching/learning program with and for students. Together we are much more than our individual strengths and this is what makes our grade level team such a pleasure to work with.

I am also grateful that I work in a community that values education. Many, many community members contribute time and care to the schools, and this is clearly demonstrated in the terrific success students experience.

Further I am grateful that I have wonderful resources to use as I teach. While our buildings are a bit outdated, we still have the furniture, technology, books, manipulatives, and playground that create a positive, happy place for students to learn.

There are many community organizations that contribute to our strength as well. These community organizations provide field experiences, consultation, and resources to support the teaching/learning that happens.

And I am grateful that we have a strong national, state, and local union that prioritizes work conditions, fair salaries, and what we can do for students and families. The union lobbies for our needs, and when our needs for optimal work conditions, fair salaries, financial support, and professional learning are met, we are able to do our best by students and families.

I am also grateful that I chose a profession that I feel passionate about, a job that I truly enjoy and look forward to. I often say to the students, when you succeed it's better than handing me a million dollars, and I mean that. You can't replicate the feeling of satisfaction a teacher gets when the efforts at play result in a child's success, growth, and/or transformation. To support children's optimal development is a wonderful pursuit and life's work, one that continues to energize me.

It will be difficult to put aside the do-what-you-want-when-you-want summer days, but it will also be exciting to work with colleagues, students, and families to present and develop a strong program of teaching and learning in the year ahead, one that begins with a great deal of gratitude.