Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2

The earth has turned a little bit more and suddenly it is November. It is the beginning of that steady slide toward the end of the year that is full of so very much.

I have committed to a massive writing project for November as well as some less massive real-life kinds of things. I've gone, in the last few weeks, from reveling as a lady of leisure - one who wanders malls with a latte in hand and photographs her boots midday for the pleasure of it - to a busier person who has to keep a calendar. This is a good change of events for me, and an intentional one, so never fear. There will be very little whining about it. Or whinging, if you prefer.

All of the above is a series of social disclaimers (detestable things, but sometimes useful) to say that I will be wholly unoriginal in this blog space this month. I will be playing the tuba on the gratitude bandwagon and posting about things I'm grateful for every day. I made a list of 75 things last year and you can read them here. I love Thanksgiving because it is about food and the giving of thanks and all that lovely stuff. It's nice for gratitude to have its own holiday (we will not speak here of the genocide of indigenous peoples or religious persecution, except to admire the large buckles on hats and shoes. Deal? It's about gratitude.) However, this thankfulness things should extend a wee bit further than one weekend in November, no? It's nice to have a holiday, but the giving of thanks should be daily. (Not, however, the watching of football. That can be relegated to one weekend a year.)

The whole point of this is to put my cranky pants away and don my pants that are woven from blessings and light and realize that I should wear them more often. Without further ado, I bring you

Day 2:
Today I am grateful for excellent public school teachers. They make very little money compared to the work that they do. They deal with unruly bureaucracy, unruly children, unruly parents, limited resources, excessive expectations, long days, and cramped classrooms. I have had two opportunities this week to see my children's teachers in action and I'm humbled by their skill, their patience, their insight, and their experience. I would throw large temper tantrums if I were stuck in a smelly room with 29 children every day.

We moved to a new school over the summer and so much was unknown. I want to write gushing love letters to my children's teachers. I want to bake them treats and hug them and weep openly in appreciation. I may do that. I know that there are vast inequities across schools, across states, across neighborhoods. There are so many things that are broken about public education; so many things that are frustrating, heartbreaking, infuriating. I know that in my little neighborhood school here in the corner of the country, tucked away in a valley surrounded by trees and hills and birds, we are blessed. We are richly and abundantly blessed, in spite of setbacks. I will not take this for granted. I will not focus on the broken system except to do what I can to help change it. I will not take these people for granted. These people who know the inequities and problems better than I do and choose to show up every day anyway and give their best to other people's children. These people are heroes and I am so humbly and thoroughly grateful for them.

17 comments:

  1. I think it's easy to forget that our teachers need thanks.
    Last year,at my autistic son's IEP, I told the teacher (who I didn't know) that when I'd asked around about him, I'd gotten nothing but glowing reviews and recommendations. He literally blushed. I realized that, although the parents obviously thought much of him, he didn't hear it much. I need to say it more, because they definitely deserve it.

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    1. It seems we are a lot quicker with blame and criticism than with praise. I don't know why this is.

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  2. Sometimes I wonder why they do it ..
    I was lifeguarding at a pool being used by a group of kids from a nearby school. It was a retreat the school was giving for the kids and teachers so they'd bond and get to know each other.. When you're walking around a pool observing and standing for three hours.. you get a lot of time to think. I kept looking over at the groups of teachers talking and watching the kids and kept wondering why. why do they do what they do?
    I watched them look after, play and laugh with the kids.. they actually love those children and have a passion for what they do. That's the only reason I could come up with and like you, I was humbled.

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    1. I know they are better, more patient people than I am.

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  3. I love these thoughts about their teachers! I would love for people to appreciate all we do each day and night for the children (and futures) we try to teach and nurture!

    Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. You're welcom, a.eye. I know few professions that work as hard as teachers do for as little pay and as little thanks.

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  4. "It's nice for gratitude to have its own holiday (we will not speak here of the genocide of indigenous peoples or religious persecution, except to admire the large buckles on hats and shoes. Deal? It's about gratitude.)"

    Deal. Bring on the pumpkin pie.

    xoxo

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    1. Pumpkin pie! Must be pronounced: punkin pah.

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  5. Teachers are amazing, I know I wouldn't have the patience to cope!!

    Hmm to be thankful more often, I like it and it hives me an idea.... Thanks Lou!!

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    1. I am being thankful for the bloggers I have met on my journey so you have been nominated ;-) http://sleepyjoes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/happy-birthday-to-me.html

      and here is your shout out -
      http://sleepyjoes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/day-5-nablopomo-monday-moments.html

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    2. Thank you, dear Sleepy! You are far too kind to me.

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  6. I, for one, like your cranky pants. I like your other pants too.

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    1. My cranky pants are wearing a little thin these days, I thought it was time to switch them up a bit.

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  7. I am also thankful for public school teachers--and, frankly, a little in awe of the really good ones. It is a profoundly difficult job to do well. My kids were mostly blessed in this department--my gratitude for the good ones was only heightened by my frustration with the not-so-great ones.

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    1. Definitely more than a little in awe. I go in and volunteer for an hour and then have to come home and take a shower and a nap. I can't imagine doing that all day every day.

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  8. Oh gosh good teachers! They are quite amazing...I really wouldn't have the patience, my colleagues would find me curled up under my desk clutching an "I love tea" mug if I ever tried that profession! I just know it!

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    1. I think you find me under that same desk!

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Thanks for reading and taking the time to say hello!