Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm So Thankful

I normally begin an entry by apologizing for my hiatus if I know it's been a while since the last time I wrote. But I've decided that, at least for this year, I'm going to have to stop doing that.  If I apologize every time that it's been too long since I last blogged, then I'm going to end up started every single entry with an apology.  This year has just been so busy!

Amidst all the busyness, it can be so easy to get overwhelmed.  I have spent a lot of time this semester just trying to keep my head above water when it comes to school and grad school.  It's just a LOT.  I know I've talked with several teachers in my building who feel the same way this year.  Implementing a new curriculum is hard work.  Implementing a new curriculum and having a family, friends, and a life outside of work can be even harder.  However, it's doable.  It's just more doable when you find a light at the end of the tunnel on which to focus.  We all need a little beacon of hope in our day-to-day.  Mine is Christmas break.  Only four more weeks :)

In addition to finding that light at the end of the tunnel, I think it's important to pause in the midst of all the chaos and deadlines and memos and due dates and remember to be thankful.  Today, I want to reflect on why I am thankful.

I am thankful to be surrounded by wonderful people at home, at work, and in my community.  I know there are many people who don't have a support system to lean on when things get tough.

I am thankful to have a job that, while sometimes exhausting and frustrating, is rewarding and exciting everyday.  I know there are many people who don't have a job at all.

Above all, I have recently decided that I am thankful for enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm, in many ways, is a lost art.  I think that as people become adults and slide into the grind of working, they lose their enthusiasm.  I realized this week, as I was reflecting on my thankfulness, that enthusiasm is one of the qualities that I adore in middle school students.  If I ask them to come get their graded papers ninja-style, they do it with gusto.  If I ask them to sell an Industrial Revolution invention to the class like the Oxyclean man, they make up a cheer about the piano on the spot.  If I have a bad day, they write me letters of encouragement and put them on my desk when I'm not looking.  When you're thirteen, you still see the fun and the excitement in the little things in life, and you latch onto that fun.  To me, that's something worth emulating as an adult.  I want to be as enthusiastic as they are.  I want to encourage them when they have a bad day.  Most of all, I want to continue to be inspired by my students.

In the middle of all the craziness that 2012 had brought with it, I am immensely grateful to be teaching the group of students that I am teaching this year.  What a blessing to be surrounded by so much enthusiasm.  I hope it's contagious.  I'll definitely be needing to catch some in order to make it to Christmas.