Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

November 24, 2011

An Educational Thanksgiving

Filed under: Tools for Life Posts — by Life's Toolbox @ 3:51 am
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      Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on life’s many blessings, and to express gratitude for our family and our health.  I most certainly feel blessed in those areas, and am exquisitely grateful.  This Thanksgiving, however, having spent the past week giving presentations on discipline to parents, lecturing  on Piaget and Kohlberg to seasoned teachers, and introducing strategies for special needs students to new teachers, I am particularly grateful for teachers, paid and unpaid, trained and untrained . . . all those who share their knowledge, passion, and caring to help others learn and grow.   I am equally grateful to learners, formal students and all those who open their minds and hearts to new ideas and new methods.

I have had no shortage of great teachers.  I have vivid memories of certain elementary, junior and senior high school teachers.  Undergraduate professors of distinction, and graduate school professors, mentors and supervisors shaped me professionally in ways, decades later, I appreciate daily.  And of course, my learning continued to benefit from the many amazing colleagues who, over the years, have generously shared their skills with me.

Some of my most important teachers were in my own family.  My parents, both teachers by training, taught in all kinds of wondrous ways.  My father through his unending awe of all things natural and mechanical , excited us with his wonder of beautiful vistas and his command of tools and machines.  My mother wowed us with words – teaching us their power and grandeur (her thanksgiving email, so imbued with warmth and wit brought me to tears).    It is not surprising that I married a natural born teacher, who has taught me so much, and who is a fantastic co-teacher of our children.

But this Thanksgiving, I am extremely grateful to the learners in my life, because it is from them that I derive the most satisfaction, and I believe they have also become my best teachers.  In my own family, my children have patiently endured my lessons, and while I know they have ignored some, the ones dearest to me, they live graciously.  They are my A+, the validation of my “teaching” skills, and nothing is more satisfying than seeing them grow into amazing learners and the next generation of “teachers”.  Being their mother taught me lessons years of education, and even being a daughter could not.  I learned in their “classroom” the true nature of parenting and education, they humbled me, but also gave me courage and a drive to grow.

My job entails teaching teachers and parents – and in every class and every workshop – I learn so much!  I learn the specifics of great techniques and tools, and the power of passion and commitment.  What I learn makes me a better teacher, a better therapist, a better parent, and a better person.

So tomorrow, as I sit down with family and turkey, no blackboard or power point in sight – I will be giving thanks for the usual – good health and good times shared with family and friends.  But I will also be giving thanks to teachers and learners everywhere – to the cycle of give and take, with students teaching and teachers learning.  I will be thinking of all those teachers who taught me, and all those I have taught, who taught me as well.  I will hope that teaching and learning finds its way into the lives of children and adults everywhere, and that it enriches their lives, as it has enriched mine.

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1 Comment »

  1. Really touching. Thank You!

    Comment by Aviva — November 24, 2011 @ 4:10 am |Reply


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