With Thanksgiving each year, I do take time to pause and reflect both personally and professionally. In my professional world right now, the second marking period has started, and I am perusing my students’ feedback forms from the middle of November. I am in the midst of teaching a new unit on the interaction of community and the individual with Romeo and Juliet as my core text. And, the fall semester at West Chester University is almost over; I just need to finish my final paper. Despite some constants and best laid plans, there is much I have no control over. Will we remain hybrid or go virtual? Will my technology work during my lesson? Will Internet issues prevent students from attending class? At times, the questions seem endless. Yet, even though there is uncertainty in my classroom and the teaching profession, I search for the people and moments I am grateful for.
I am thankful for my students. It is a joy to work with them every day even with the struggles of hybrid learning, mask wearing, and unanswered questions. Their patience, technical support, and feedback make our class a better place. I also appreciate them laughing–even at my horrible jokes.
I am thankful for my colleagues and mentors. Although we might be meeting virtually, technology is connecting us in ways pre-Covid meetings could not. Everyone is sharing materials and ideas to help one another out. There are check-ins and how are you doings both online and in person. Even though you cannot see someone’s smile underneath their mask, you know it is there. There is an unsaid understanding of what we are all going through.
I am thankful for my principals and English supervisor who are sounding blocks during meetings, who allow us to voice our concerns and classroom insight. They recognize the crazy times we are teaching in. I feel their support.
I am thankful for reading Laura Rendón’s Sentipensante Pedagogy with Dr. Craig this semester. Rendón’s agreements have reminded me to take time each day to replenish my mind, body, and soul. I have been walking–in the sunshine and rain (as long as it is not a downpour). The fresh air in my lungs and the sun on my face is rejuvenating.
With the long weekend, I am taking time to reflect, rejuvenate, and be thankful–not only for the blessings in my personal life but also in my professional world. I wish the same for you.