Wednesday, November 27, 2013


My wife, along with several other people I know, has been making daily posts on Facebook this month, sharing the things she is thankful for. It's a wonderful exercise in mindfulness, and while my effort below isn't as extended or as broadly-focused, I thought that now would be a good time to put into words the things for which I am thankful in education. I offer them in no particular order:

  1. I am thankful for those who teach my children, not just in the classroom but in their homes, at the YMCA, at the libraries and the auditoriums. I know you share the pleasure I feel as they grow as people.
  2. I am thankful that I work for a school district that cares so much for the individual and that invests so much in their personal and professional development.  And I am grateful for the team I work on and the folks I report to. I love my job and am deeply grateful for my colleagues.
  3. I am thankful for my PLN. I learn everyday from passionate people locally, across the state and throughout the world. The generosity of spirit that exists in the communities, groups and hashtag chats I belong to inspires me.
  4. I am thankful that I live in a country where people care enough about educating everyone that they have ongoing debates and arguments over how best to do it. I appreciate my right to make my voice heard.
  5. I am thankful to live in a time and to have a career that demands more of me creatively, but that also offers me more creative options and opportunities. I am thankful for the tools that I have at my disposal that didn't exist even 5 years ago.
  6. I am thankful for the opportunity I have to work with learners of all ages. When I was in the classroom, I saw learners through a single lens. What a joy to see the whole person learning from pre-school to adulthood.
  7. I am thankful for the spark that I see when a learner's curiosity is engaged and their joy for learning is ignited. 
  8. I am thankful for the reflective teachers who come to work everyday purposefully trying to design learning experiences that matter to each learner individually, and who share their successes and failures with other teachers in a spirit of collaboration.
  9. I am thankful for the friends I've met this year, for the opportunities they have brought to collaborate, and for the organizations I've had the chance to serve.
  10. I am thankful for the feedback I've received from the people who attend my workshops, read my posts, and participate in my projects. It's my pleasure to serve, but I appreciate those who have helped me grow and have affirmed my work.
  11. I am thankful to live in a family full of teachers. Forgive my bias, but having that many folks around me who have made the sacrifices it takes to support others as they grow is a real gift. 
  12. I am thankful for the rare but essential quiet moments in the school year when we remember that there is so much more to our lives and the lives of our students than the academic march we make from August to May.
While education can feel like a thankless job when folks politicize it for the sake of soundbites and corporate agendas, the reality is that real people recognize and appreciate the purpose we've committed ourselves to, the difference we make in the lives of our learners, and the care we take to do the job well. 

Thank you, my friends, for everything that you do. I hope you have a restful and fulfilling holiday weekend.


  1. Awesome list....I am thankful for all my formidable and renown friends...and Tim... you define the phrase!

    1. Thanks Candice. Always grateful for you and our friendship :)