15. Fridays

Aaahh! I know I’m a few days late, but on Friday, I was so thankful for Fridays! I love Fridays! Fridays are such a great day at work. It’s test day, so the students are all focused and on task…and quiet! 😉 Usually, on Friday afternoons, we watch an educational movie of some sort that is related to what we have been learning. This Friday was extra special, though, because my students had earned a party for their awesome behavior. So, we watched a fun movie and had brownies and ice cream. They were in heaven! And, well, so was I! Haha!

Fridays are just great! I love the casualness of them and the anticipation and excitement they bring for the upcoming weekend! TGIF, y’all!

14. Fresh Air

Today, I am thankful for nature. Outdoors. Fresh air. The simple things.

I took my students on a field trip to a local nature station. It is my favorite field trip of the year! It’s a calm, quiet, peaceful one. It is such a great experience for both the students and the adults who attend. The moms who chaperoned had a great time and couldn’t believe how much they learned! The students were enthralled with things other than televisions, cell phones, and video games. They became familiar with various trees and plants and other living creatures. They learned new words like biodiversity, escarpment, and non-renewable. They identified poison ivy, fungi, and soft-shell turtles. And many of them held a snake for the first time in their lives!

I love seeing the innocence return to my students’ faces when they see these “simple” life pleasures, really see them, for the very first time! I also love the renewed sense of minimalism I get when I visit the park. I always walk away reevaluating the needs and wants in my life, thinking of more ways to live simpler! It reminds me what a wasteful society we are and how we all need to play a bigger part in helping to save our earth, reducing the waste that we make by reusing things that we are so quick to throw away and recycling what we can.

Since visiting the nature station last year, I have made so many changes in my life! Visiting today made me realize that there are still so many things that I can change!

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8. (A Day Late) My Students

As many of you know, I am a fourth-grade teacher. The life of a teacher is a stressful one, and it is easy to forget all the good things when you’re drowning in the sea of curriculum changes, lesson plans, paperwork, data folders, duty schedules, and so on!

However, on Friday, I was reminded just how thankful I am for my job, especially my students! I walked into my room to find that a student had snuck a note onto my table before leaving the day before. Not sure what to expect, I opened it hesitantly. This is what I found:

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(*Note: Some names were blacked out for confidentiality purposes.)

This note was just what I needed to help me get through the end of a very long work week!

So, when you’re having a rough day, just remember that you are the cheese on someone’s hamburger. Put on a smile and carry on!

1. Teachers

I love the month of November! It is the epitome of Fall, which is my very favorite time of year, it’s the month of my first born’s birth, and it is also the month of one of my favorite holidays–Thanksgiving!

Over the last couple years, the 30 Days of Thanks Facebook challenge has really grown, and I think it is definitely one of the best fads to ever grace my newsfeed. I took part last year, and it was a truly wonderful experience. I think it is so important to remind ourselves what is important to us and to remember how blessed we all are. I have so much to be thankful for!

So, I will take the challenge again this year! I am going to TRY to blog everyday and include something for which I am thankful!

Today, I am thankful for my career. I am a teacher, and I am so proud of that! I whole-heartedly believe that teaching is one of the hardest professions there is. People often brush off the importance of a teacher’s job because we “get off at 3:00” and of course “have the summers off”. It is rare that someone gets an inside view of what a teacher really does! Perhaps if our lawmakers would come to spend a day in our classrooms, they may think a little harder about things like VAM scores, LEAP testing, engageNY, SLTs, and many of the other acronyms that have taken over our lives! So, to all of you who devote your lives to our children, thank you! I am thankful for your career choices, as well!

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Day 22: Teacher Tantrums

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While unbelievably rewarding and inspiring, the job of a teacher is also a stressful one! The paperwork, tests, data, conferences, phone calls, lesson planning, and meetings are endless! We tend to get so caught up in trying to cram in everything that the students need to learn in the short 9 months that they are “ours”, we often forget to relax and have fun every once in a while!

One of my best teaching days happened a few weeks ago. By Wednesday, I was stressed, the students were stressed, and, frankly, we just couldn’t go anymore!! The new math curriculum had gotten the best of us all! After going home and reflecting on everything, I decided that my students and I needed a break. The next day, I declared it Throw Out the Textbooks Thursday! We pushed all the desks out of the way, took off our shoes, and had a stress-free day on the floor! I still taught, the students still learned, and everyone had an A in conduct that day! It definitely went down in the record books as one of my best days ever in my 10 years of teaching!

So, when you’re feeling stressed, just simply kick off your shoes and throw the rules out the window! Your blood pressure will thank you!

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