Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kim Frencken: Things a veteran teacher is thankful for

Veteran. Seasoned. Experienced. All synonyms for teachers who have been around a block or two. Seasoned makes me feel like a fry so I'll just stick with veteran. We all seem to have some things in common. Or at least we can identify with similar things. Things from the good ole days.

We're thankful for parents that gave us the benefit of the doubt. We had them. They believed the teacher. Yep! That mean old teacher who picked on me was innocent in my parent's eyes. She was the hero. I was the convicted.

We're thankful that we have (or have had) administrators that support us. I've got your back has taken on a whole new meaning today. Back in the day if a principal said they would support you, they meant it. They didn't mean, "I"ll support you if......" In many schools support has become conditional. I am thankful I teach in a place where the administration still has my back. That's called integrity, by the way.

Ask a veteran teacher how they feel about parents who volunteer. Over the years, I've been blessed with parents who have volunteered to help with difficult projects, help prepare materials for the classroom, or help decorate. Some have offered to read to students who needed some extra assistance, or became a buddy to a lonely child. Awesome. I realize that laws have changed because of those who harm children, making it more difficult to accept outside help, but it is still doable in so many ways. If coming into the classroom isn't an option, there are always things that need to be done outside of school: preparing crafts, making bulletin board items, or picking up class treats.

So what else are we thankful for??? Weekends, holidays, and summers off to recharge our batteries. Peers, Parents, and Principals that listen. A laminator that works. Lessons that knock it out of the ballpark. The lightbulbs that go off. And, the joy that comes with each new day.

(For more of Kim Frencken's writing and information about her educational products, check out her blog, Chocolate For the Teacher.)

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