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When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.  Dalai Lama

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I have been through 17 years of education as a student, 14 years of education as a lower elementary teacher, 10 years of education as a parent, and 5 years of education as an upper elementary teacher.  With each role brings many things to reflect upon and be thankful for.

As a student I am grateful for:

  • a public education
  • books
  • gym class
  • recess
  • art
  • teacher’s that smile
  • teacher’s that push me

As an educator I am grateful for:

  • my students
  • books
  • other teachers who inspire me
  • parents
  • outside recess
  • the opportunity to see learning happen
  • supportive administration
  • markers, crayons, colored pencils
  • good pencil sharpeners
  • higher level questions
  • great novels
  • chocolate
  • fantastic custodians
  • caring and supportive paras

As a parent I am grateful for:

  • educators who see children as individuals
  • educators who are positive
  • educators who smile and laugh and have fun with their kids
  • educators who celebrate successes
  • educators who allow failure
  • educators who are open to suggestions
  • safe schools
  • clean schools
  • good communication

Education is inundated with negativity today.  This week may you find time to focus on things you are grateful for.  Take a minute to verbalize this gratitude.  Write a short note to your child, an educator, or someone else in your life and say thank you.  Then be sure you follow that thankful up with actions.  Show your thankfulness throughout the year.

Education is hard work from all viewpoints: student, educator, parent.  Thank you to students who try, fail, succeed, and show up to class willing to be their best self in whatever form that takes.  Thank you to educators who give up themselves, find meaningful lessons, openly share their ideas, and value each of their children as individuals.  Thank you to parents who send us their children, ask their children about their day, and let their children try things on their own, fail, and then breathe slowly as something takes twice as long because your child is doing it by them self.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns: I am thankful that thorns have roses. –Alphonse Karr.

May you see the blessings in your life this week and feel grateful for what you have.


Lori Rice is a fourth-grade teacher at West Elementary in Wamego, Kansas, who has taught K-2 reading...

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