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12 Reasons to Be Thankful You Are a Teacher

Stephanie Wrobleski

12 Reasons to Be Thankful You Are a TeacherTeaching is not a profession known for instant gratification. Sometimes, we teachers can feel completely unappreciated.  

Dubbed a “thankless job”, teaching comes with many daily challenges. Grading, meetings, more grading, planning and the seemingly hundreds of tasks we are charged with can make us feel frustrated and burned out.  More often than not, we take on much more than our job description.  Everything from improving student’s academic abilities to making up for their inadequate home life leads to a feeling of overwhelm and negativity.

In  his 2009 Reader’s Digest article, “How to Be Thankful and Improve Your Life”, David Hochman discovers that “life gets better when you adopt and attitude of gratitude.”  In other words, look at life from the “half full” point of view instead of the “half empty” one. Take time to appreciate yourself and the positive aspects of your profession.  

Here are 12 unexpected reasons to be thankful for being a teacher.

Teachers, Be Thankful For...

1.  Your heavy teacher’s bag...

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because it symbolizes your employment.  Take a moment to think about how many people you know who have been laid off.  According to The Wall Street Journal, there were over two million people collecting unemployment in early October. Be grateful you are not one of them.

2.  The deductions from your paycheck...

which account for your health insurance.  Insurance is expensive.  Many of our students go without medical attention, medication or glasses.  In fact, The US Census Bureau tallied nearly 50 million people without health insurance in 2010.  Appreciate your health coverage. 

3.  Monday mornings...

because they come after weekends and holidays off.   Not everyone is fortunate enough to have weekends and holidays off.  Many of our spouses may be required to work Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day and even Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Feel fortunate to have these days off from work.

4.  Rising at an early hour...

since going to work early means you can leave early.  Although most of us take work home at night or on weekends, the actual hours we are required to be "at the office" allow us to be home at a reasonable hour.  Welcome the idea that you can get home before dinner actually begins.

5.  Parent meetings...

because they are an opportunity to reach out to parents and students.  Meeting with parents is a chance to connect with a family and demonstrate your willingness to help.  Take advantage of the possibility that may make a positive impact upon parent and student.    

6.  Student loan statements...

which are invoices for an educational investment.  A good percentage of the  world’s population does not have the opportunity to seek higher educated. Be thankful for yours.

7. Wearing an ID...

which can be very useful.  Yes, it is annoying - getting caught on everything and constantly misplaced - but flashing your school ID can get you discounts at many retail stores.  Money saved is certainly something to be thankful for.

8. A noisy classroom...

which signifies productivity.  Learn to embrace the racket that comes with learning.  Noisy students are discussion books or significant classroom topics. Be thankful that your students are excited to learn.

9. The pile of unread books on your desk...

because it is evidence that you can read. According to a 2009 USA Today article, a federal study found that one in seven US adults cannot read well enough to comprehend a newspaper article.  Acknowledge that the ability to read makes your life better.

10. A full email inbox...

which symbolizes your ability to communicate. Out of all the email or voicemail correspondence we get, there will be a “thank you” from a parent or a commendation for a job well done.  Appreciate the ability to  communicate.

11.  A lesson that doesn’t follow the script...

because it means your students are thinking. Embrace those teachable moments that may not be part of the master plan.  Pride your self on being confident enough to teach off the cuff once in a while.

12.  Challenging students...

who help you become a better teacher.   Meeting a challenge only makes us stronger and helps us learn more about ourselves.  Be thankful for the opportunity to grow as a person and as an educator.

Help Students Show Gratitude

Share your new found “attitude of gratitude” with your students.  

As the holiday season nears, use this Letter of Gratitude Lesson to share the true meaning of giving thanks with your classes.  The lesson is designed for upper grades, but includes suggestions of how to adapt it to younger students as well.  It incorporates reading and writing and giving thanks.


Why are you thankful to be a teacher? Share in the comments section!

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