Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As I ponder the meaning of this day many thoughts come to mind. One stream of thought relates to my role as an educator and education as a whole. There is so much for which to be thankful in this realm — so many blessings from God. To that end, here is my education Thanksgiving list.
I am thankful for….
- 35 years of teaching, all of them in Lutheran education. I have been blessed to teach in Lutheran schools and I know that my experience there is different than that of many other teachers.
- The ability to share Jesus with students and families EVERY DAY!
- The opportunities to pray with and for students and families, who have so much that the deal with in life.
- Working at Lutheran High School, where I have the opportunity and freedom to innovate in education.
- My 57 students with whom I work directly this year in Lights Academy — a growth from 10 students my first year. I also have the privilege of mentoring a second teacher to work with Lights Academy this year.
- The times when I hear from graduates of Lights Academy and they share how they are doing.
- My health. The past three years have been the healthiest I have had in my teaching years with no major colds or illnesses. (I almost felt like not sharing this to avoid jinxing this streak, but I know that God is the one in control, not luck). The ongoing health issues that have arisen have been manageable.
- Cataracts surgery last October. I can see so much better, and reading is a joy again.
- Our administration at LuHi, especially our executive director and principal, who have courageously led us through COVID restrictions, clearly identifying our core values, and valiantly fought to carry out those values the past three years.
- Lights Academy, where I have the opportunity to facilitate a personalized learning model that benefits so many students and families.
- My colleagues at Lutheran High School, the best comprehensive team I have taught with in my years of education — and I have taught alongside some good ones during those years.
- The opportunities I have at my school to add to the culture and life of the school. I serve as announcer for many sporting events. I play trombone for our after school jazz group. I am singing with our students at our Christmas concert. I made a cameo appearance in last year’s school production of Annie. I appreciate the chance to not only serve but to join in other areas of school life.
- The continued opportunity to teach online courses through the Educational Design and Technology masters program from Concordia University Wisconsin.
- The times when I have been approached by colleagues to observe them and provide classroom perspectives. I appreciate the opportunity to raise up the next generation of educators.
- The times when everything falls into place and the learning is magical. I had one of those class periods on Tuesday with my seniors as they collaboratively ranked the effectiveness of our U.S. presidents. The conversation was pure gold, filled with deep insights and raucous joy and laughter. It is in those moments that all things seem possible in education.
- The times when lessons and activities flop and I am provided the opportunity to learn and grow from that experience. What a blessing that can be!
- The blessing of being able to teach my three daughters through the years.
- The larger community of educators (too many to name) that have impacted my professional growth through the years — many whom I have met in person but some whom I only know through technology and social media, such as my Twitter PLN. You all are a blessing to me!
And I could go on….and on…..and on, but you get the idea. There is so much related to education for which to be thankful. And all of this is the result of God and his blessings to me and our community. To Him belongs all glory and praise!
What is on your education Thanksgiving list? Feel free to share your thoughts as a comment to this post.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!