When I was younger, I never thought I would be a teacher. Sure, I used to play school with my younger cousins and siblings when I was younger. I would even draw out worksheets and write questions for them to answer about books I read or PBS shows I taped on a VHS cassette especially for my “school”, but I never gave a thought to teaching as a profession. Not once in high school, or college, or even in my first couple of years after college did I ever think I would be a teacher.
I wanted to work in media and communications, and I began my professional career in public relations working the high-tech circuit. I had many big-name tech companies as clients. I wrote press releases and organized media tours. I even traveled throughout the US and abroad assisting my clients in their media need. I loved working in this demanding field, but it didn’t fulfill me in the way that I always dreamt of a career should.
After working for a few years in the private sector, I decided to make a change in my life. I decided to become a teacher. I went back to school and earned my teaching credential (in California, you must earn this after completing your baccalaureate degree) and my Master’s in Education during the middle of a recession. Teaching jobs were scarce, but I was very fortunate and I was hired to begin work the very next school year.
Several years have passed since my first year as a high school English teacher. I remember all of the struggles that came with being a first, a second, and even a third-year teacher. But even in those first few, and quite challenging, years, I remember how lucky and grateful I was for having the wonderful opportunity to be a teacher -especially a teacher in a low socioeconomic area where the odds were stacked against my students. I was thankful for the opportunity to make a difference and contribute something positive to society.
So this Thanksgiving break I am reflecting on everything for which I am thankful. And I must say, we teachers sure have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, the job can be challenging and stressful and downright tedious at times, but reaching just one child and making a true difference in just one child’s life makes all of the stress worthwhile.
- I am thankful for my students who teach me new things every day.
- I am thankful for my students because they make me laugh.
- I am thankful for being challenged every day.
- I am thankful for being able to share beautiful stories and poems with a new generation.
- I am thankful that I have the opportunity to give back to communities.
- I am thankful that I work in a great district that supports all students and teachers.
- I am thankful that I can build a positive rapport with students.
- I am thankful that I can teach kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance.
- I am thankful for all of the wonderful parents who support my decisions in the classroom.
- I am thankful for the opportunity to see 150 beautiful, smiling faces each day and call them my kids.
There are so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday, and being a teacher is definitely one of them.