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Gratitude = Joy!

I didn't want to write something about being thankful in November, because it seems so contrived. As thankful as I am for many things, and as much as I feel it is wonderful to talk about, it seems overdone (cringe!). In all honesty though, being thankful is a big part of my life. I say thank you to God each day for the time he has given me, and for the many amazing aspects of my life. So, I decided I would be a part of this tradition and keep the theme going.

As we come upon Thanksgiving of 2021, the world is still unsettled amidst Covid-19, and the world of education is not an easy one in which to be working. Unfortunately, it seems to be more difficult to stay uplifted than to be mired down, and negativity seems more contagious than its counterpart.

In an effort to change this feeling of overwhelming UGH, I invite you to join me in being thankful today.

I give thanks for my ability to work with teachers, students and administration. I am inspired each day that I am in a school. Even if some of the day is filled with stress teachers are feeling, problem solving and schedule changes, there is always at least one part of the day where a student smiles, a teacher has a light bulb moment, or I catch a glimpse of how my worked has made a difference.

I am thankful that my teaching experience is continuing to have an effect on students' learning outside of the four walls of my classroom. I am grateful for the joy in my heart when I am a witness to other's passion for teaching, as it is so clearly evident in their work.

As I read about educators around the country who are working to support teachers and make the necessary changes to education, I am grateful for their innovation and dedication to the field.

When I awake each morning, I find it difficult to get moving. (I just laughed out loud thinking of my husband saying, "that's one way to put it!") However, when I take a deep breath and say "Thank you, God, for this day," I literally feel more awake and ready to take on my day. I hope that you find the idea of giving thanks helpful, especially on days when you aren't sure you can pull through.

Recently, a friend of mine mentioned what Brene Brown speaks of in her book, Dare to Lead. She says that "the one thing that people who can fully lean into joy have in common...gratitude...It's not an attitude of gratitude-it's an actual practice. They keep a journal, or make a note of what they're grateful for on their phones, or share it with family members."

I plan to put my gratitude into practice, so that I may lean into joy, and help it become contagious! I hope you will do the same.

THANK YOU, educator, for all you do! Thank you for continuing to influence the lives of others.

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