I love Thanksgiving as a holiday about stuffing and pie and family and a full table. I have the pile of dishes and the fridge full of leftovers to prove it.
But, I also appreciate a calendar reminder to be thankful.
This time last year, I thought about our students, and counted some blessings in my life: reading and math and English and degrees and good schools. I'm grateful still for all of them.
But, this year, I'm also grateful for our students.
Because this was one recent school night:
- A former student stopped me to tell me he still remembered what he'd learned a year and some ago. And his face told me he was proud to have done so.
- Another student looked around, saw an empty seat as class was starting, called a classmate and told her to get to school. She did.
- And, another brought in an algebra book to ask what else she should learn (because three nights of class a week aren't enough..) And, she came back the next week with those pages done, asking for more.
I should thank them for inspiring me, us. (When I asked what volunteers were looking forward to, the answers were: the students, the students, and the students)
And, I should thank them for:
The reminders that what we do matters. And that what we do is share learning, but also spark pride in learning.
The reminder of the power of the community in our classrooms. And of all the people who call us to show up and be our best selves.
The drive they show to reach big, hard goals. And the perspective that casts on our own maybe big (or maybe not), maybe hard things.
If you're in an Adult Ed classroom, you know these students, and their gratitude-provoking counterparts. (If you're not, trust me, they're awesome) If they inspire you too, please consider showing it with a donation.