The health of the public education system in this country is in peril. I am beyond disappointed at the appointment of another non-educator, Cathy Black, to run our city’s schools.

So this weekend, I wanted to give thanks for all that is working in my education life.

Giving thanks for…

My students.  I am so thankful to be working with an amazing group of 7th graders that regularly impress, challenge, teach, make me laugh and remind me to appreciate the moment. I can honestly say I look forward to being at school every day.

My school.  I’m working at a school founded by master teachers, who understand, respect, support and CAN DO the complex and challenging work of teaching.  I have the opportunity to collaborate, learn from, and rely on wonderful colleagues.

My professional communities.  My involvement in CTQ projects, TLN, blogging, and Bank Street College alumni networks put me in dialogue with so many inspiring educators.  These networks push me to keep thinking about the big picture of what we are doing as teachers.  There are many giants in these networks, who are my mentors, whether they know it or not.

My teacher friends.  My relationships with my colleages, past and present, keep me sane in a lot of ways.  Among other things, we are bound together by the fact that we stay working with kids, and when we come together, we talk about it.  I am thankful to have amazing teacher friends to trade stories, troubles and advice with, especially when it comes to balancing our personal and professional lives.

My family and loved ones who support the work I do by listening, understanding that teaching for me is a labor of love and requires many more exhausting hours than we would sometimes like; reminding me to stop, take a breath, and relax when I need it.

Those who speak up. I am thankful for all the teachers/leaders/writers who are speaking the truth about the incredibly valuable and complex work teachers do; and those who are speaking out against education policies that are for-profit and test-driven, rather than for-the-public and child-driven, and those which shut out the voices and expertise of teachers. You are heard, at least by me.


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