It’s the last hours of Thanksgiving break and I’m thinking about the transition back to school. I was busy on Thursday breaking a plate, spilling a half gallon of water on the hardwood floor, burning the sides, and undercooking the turkey, so there was no post last week. But I am still grateful for so much.
Above all else, I am thankful for my students. I always swore I would NEVER BE A TEACHER. When I grudgingly admitted that I might actually enjoy teaching, I swore I would ONLY TEACH ADULTS. I even managed to get myself an entire masters degree towards this end without ever meeting the requirements for a Massachusetts teaching license for middle school. Imagine my shock when I realized, after a series of events that ended with me teaching 7th grade math, that I had found my people! I go to work every day for the kids, for my kids. They are the reason I work the hours I do, the reason I get up every day.
I am grateful for my colleagues. In every school I’ve taught in, I have always been blessed with colleagues who push me to do my best and my daily better. In particular, of course, my current 7th grade math colleague, Irene Witt, is definitely my better half at work. It’s her attention to detail that has saved us from many ridiculous mistakes. It’s her constant striving to make our work better that drives us to up our game every year, every Module, every day.
I am thankful that I have a job that requires me to be constantly revising my work. It’s never a good idea to let me get bored…and you can never be bored in education. I am grateful to Dr. Katie Novak for bringing me new challenges and for being an advocate for teachers, first and foremost. I can’t imagine giving up teaching with Universal Design for Learning, now that it is so ingrained in my practice and in the ways in which I know I will never be done and never have done enough. I am thankful for the series of life events that brought me here and now, in this job, this school, this classroom, this practice.