Tuesday, December 3, 2013

thinking thankfully

at Two Writing Teachers!
Awhile ago (actually, a year ago!!!), Michelle wrote an unconventional post about thankfulness, where she reflected on how everyday annoyances are really signs of bigger blessings. Since it's been a crazy and stressful (but wonderful) fall, her idea seemed like the perfect Thanksgiving slice for me this year!

So thanks, Michelle, for reminding me that I have so much to be thankful for... even on the most stressful days!

I am thankful for:
  • hours upon hours of work after school each day and on the weekends -- because I have a job that I love and I know it matters
  • the extensive time and effort I spend creating lessons, activities, and assessments -- because I have the freedom and flexibility to do what I know is good for my students
  • my small, oddly-shaped classroom with no air vents -- because it's my own space, and I can create my own community inside it
  • a seemingly incessant tide of SST, ETR, and IEP meetings -- because I know we are getting these students the support they need
  • students who stop by at inconvenient times for extra help or to talk about their lives -- because they want to be successful, they trust me, and they believe I can help them
  • graduate student observers and researchers who have lots of questions for me to answer -- because it's humbling and exhilarating to influence future teachers
  • new students who come with limited schooling and minimal English -- because I can make a difference in their lives
  • the very small number of staff members who came to my professional development sessions about supporting ELLs -- because their students will benefit, and they can pass on what they learned
  • students with special needs and devastating obstacles in their lives outside of school -- because I can show them that someone cares and challenge myself to find better ways to help them
  • only three computers in my classroom -- because three is better than none
  • working in a building where some colleagues do not share my beliefs about education and many are inexperienced with ELLs and technology -- because I have the opportunity to be a leader
  • hours spent at band practices, meetings, and performances -- because marching band is still part of my life
  • all the extra hours my dad has to work right now -- because his company is successful and he's good at his job... and because now I really appreciate each minute I get to see him
  • so many invitations to spend time with my mom that I don't get other things done -- because she's amazing and she loves me so much
  • when Husband doesn't buy the right thing at the grocery store, or forgets to wash my favorite pants in time for me to wear them -- because he goes to the store, does the laundry, and shows me he loves me in a million other perfect ways
  • so many friends who are far away -- because friendship is real when it continues across miles
  • cold weather -- because it brings the possibility of shimmering, magical snow
  • the ever-earlier darkness each night -- because it lets the Christmas lights shine


  1. Oh my gosh...I love this. It's a great way to turn those negatives into positives. I think I may have to play with this in my notebook.

    1. Thanks, Julie! :-) It was Michelle's idea first though, and that's exactly what I said! It's been sitting in my list of slice ideas in Evernote for a year now! :-)

  2. First, I'm glad your voice is back! I have looked for you each week, but I understand how busy you are. You are the lifeline to these students who struggle to find their way in a new country. You have a way to make the problems sparkle. :-)

    1. You always know just what to say to make me feel special, elsie. Thank you!

  3. I have missed your posts! Your voice needs to be heard! There is so much truth in your words, but also so much grace. May the spirit of Christmas sustain you and give you even more creative ways to reach your students!

  4. Jennifer,
    I love turning what is sometimes viewed as negative into positive! The glass is half full in this picture!

  5. This is so uplifting! There are struggles in living but there is always an opportunity to look for the bigger blessings. You have so nicely illustrated this and I so appreciate you sharing it.

  6. I can relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful in the midst of it because what we do does matter and does make a different to those kids in our classrooms and schools.

  7. So glad to see you back & I know you've been busy! Michelle's idea, and now your translation, Jennifer is just wonderful. When reading this, I realized you indeed are blessed with many good things in life. It's a nice thing to count blessings, isn't it? Enjoy your holidays!

  8. I love this. My post last week was about working with positive people. That is just so important for keeping the positive frame of mind, I have also out this idea in my notebook. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Wow! First of all, I'm totally amazed that you saved a little post and a year later used it as inspiration for this awesome post! And thank you for the trip down memory lane. I rarely go back and reread old posts, so that was a treat for me. :) Keep doing what you are doing, Jennifer! You are making a difference and it is not going unnoticed. And YOU MATTER!

  10. Positive people gives you positive energy. Negative people discourage you. They do not give you happiness feeling.

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  11. Always enjoy reading your blog posts and seeing what's going on. :) I can tell you're a fabulous teacher and a great writer. Miss you!!


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