It’s the first day of my summer vacation and as the G-ds would have it I have a nasty head cold. I would not have even gone to work yesterday if it were not the last day of school. So apologies right now if I wrote something unintelligible or profane in your yearbook kids.
I am grateful for this beautiful sunny day even if I can’t enjoy it the way I might like to. I did go outside to wash my sandals! I am grateful for daycare which means the wee one doesn’t have to put up with my snuffling and general grumpiness.
But I am especially grateful for my students. I read this article this morning in which teachers were interviewed about why they think kids drop out. And teachers, I must say, are an optimistic bunch in general. At the end of the article they were each asked what it is that keeps them going. They all attributed their positive and hopeful attitudes to their kids and their love of teaching kids. Teaching is all about connections. If you can’t connect with someone why on earth would they want to listen to what you have to say? (I could probably go on about that ad nauseum)
It’s pretty traditional for kids to get my end of the year gifts and while these are always appreciated, my favorite part are the cards. Getting a middle school student to sit down (even if forced by parents) and write you a note of appreciation is a minor miracle. So I’m especially grateful for any words of appreciation and feedback that come from my students. By the by, my cards usually say things like “You are weird and funny.” Comments that might have upset me when I was actually in middle school now make me beam with pride.
So maybe the final thing I’m grateful for is perspective. Perspective allows me to remember that this head cold will not last forever and there will be plenty of days to enjoy the sunshine. Perspective allows me to create meaningful connections with my students but also to understand that it is right and natural that they move on and so do I. When I’m doing my best at keeping things in perspective I can enjoy all the wonderful parts of my existence without feeling anxious about what may come, or not come. So I’m grateful for those moments too. Dayenu!