I'm sure we'll all spend time with our own families, (maybe) eating too much and (hopefully) laughing just enough, reflecting on the many gifts of our personal lives. Today, I open up a discussion with you, my professional family, about all the many things we have to be grateful for in our professional lives!
Watching children in the act of learning...trying, sometimes flopping, revising their thinking, and reinventing themselves again and again...asking questions and not being afraid of sounding curious...building towers of Legos and of ideas, helping to make sense of the world around them. These are great reminders of what we adults need more of: curiosity, innovation, and love for what we do!
I am appreciative to these short people for adding so much to my days, and to their parents for entrusting us with their present and their future!
Without the printing press, William Shakespeare's words might be long forgotten unless they were passed by memory for generations.
Without the printing press, Beverly Cleary, Natalie Babbitt, Patricia MacLachlan, Kate DiCamillo, Roald Dahl, Paula Danziger and many other now-famous authors would have just been eccentric storytellers with no place really to find an audience besides their immediate surroundings, and the world would be a place without girls named Ramona and Amber who teach others about growing up, we'd never know about what it's like to fly across the Atlantic in a giant peach, and Winn-Dixie would just be a chain of stores where some people in the South go for their groceries.
Without the printing press, there wouldn't be lines of wondrous words that make all the difference to readers dealing with their emotions, and knowledge would be shared at a much slower rate in a world without printed nonfiction.
Because of the printing press, there are teaching words, healing words, and words that change lives forever.
Professional organizations like NCTE, NCTM, IRA, ASCD and others formally help bring us together. Informal networks of professional friends like those formed at Teachers College, through our summer institutes, the Literacy Leaders' Network, and working in cohorts of all sorts helps bring us together. Reading professional texts, whether they are books, articles, blogs, or watching videos of good teaching is time very well spent that's made possible by professional learning organizations.
Sitting together with colleagues to pick apart a problem, to study a professional text, to teach in front of each other, or just solve the mysteries of how to reach each student is such a gift in what might otherwise be a lonely experience.
However, if we look back, we can see that several harsh winters and weak harvests and plagues preceded the very first Thanksgiving! Sticking together and working harder than they ever imagined is what gave the early Americans a bountiful enough harvest to celebrate, and one of the quintessential moments that built a new nation. It seems like the stage is set.
These parts of our new reality can weaken us...or they can make us work harder than ever, learning more about learning, reminding the world around us that despite this tough winter in the season of teaching, we will thrive and have something to be thankful for!
Thank you all for reading!