What I am grateful for at work
I am grateful that my English department colleagues are some of the smartest and most well-read people I have ever worked with and that they offer students a wide range of ways to approach texts.
I am grateful for raucous, hilarious lunchtime conversations about everything from Hamlet to hell-raising.
I am grateful that we have a kitchen in the English office, and I’m grateful to the custodian for giving us a cast-off round table a few years ago so that everyone can sit around talking at lunch and to a department that welcomes all comers – especially supply teachers (Canadian for “substitute teachers) and those new to the school.
I’m grateful for the freedom to teach my class in ways that are supported by research but which are new to me. I’m grateful that my administration and my department trust me enough to let me try new ways to encourage growth in our students.
I am grateful that our librarian is incredibly enthusiastic about books and reading, that she shares the library with me all the time, lets my class have first dibs on new arrivals, will work with my struggles one-on-one and generally supports my crazy literacy ideas
I’m grateful for a principal who loves to talk pedagogy, who believes that relationships are what make education, and who always – even when he drives me crazy – starts with the question, “will it help the students learn?”.
I’m grateful for vice principals who demonstrate respect for the students they encounter – and who are effective and supportive.
I’m grateful for a partner teacher in Spec Ed (Canadian for Special Education) who is committed, dynamic and visionary.
I’m grateful that the EAs (educational assistants) are some of the best I’ve ever worked with: smart, funny, and deeply focused on our students.
Good heavens, I am realizing that I’m grateful to work with so many amazing people -and I can’t possibly enumerate them all here (but I’ll start): our head custodian who provides laughter and counsel, our office staff who are ridiculously competent and have the best Halloween costumes, our Guidance Dept who are tirelessly supportive of students, our IT support who is constantly on the go & saving our bacon, my colleagues who share complaints & compliments freely. I feel like I could write whole posts about person after person.
I’m grateful for the dynamism that is generated by the Arts programs. Our school is full of kids dancing down the hallway, singing in the stairwells, painting on the walls (sanctioned!). I’m grateful for the student performances that inspire: music, dance, words and images permeate our every day. And I”m grateful to the teachers for providing the structure and the time to make that happen.
I’m grateful that our school actively works to make spaces for all sorts of students – physically disabled, talented in the arts, behavior challenged, gay, trans, LD, newcomers to Canada, kids from down the street. We take our commitment to welcoming all very seriously.
I’m realizing as I write that what it comes down to is that I am grateful for a team of people who believe deeply in the potential of all of our students and who hold each other up as we strive to offer our students the best that we can.