Part of the Process

Thoughts on becoming a teacher.

Giving Thanks

3 Comments

This week has provided me a much needed break and the time for reflection that goes with it. I was thrilled to able to spend time with family and friends. During the Thanksgiving meal I had with my family, we went around the table taking turns sharing what we were thankful for this year. There were some humorous responses, some serious. Lots of mentions of being thankful for good health, family and friends. When it was my sister’s turn, she told us she was so thankful to be part of such a supportive family and not only that but to have a group of friends and even the support of the small town she lives in. She told us that while she has been going through a tough time, this support had made all the difference. I felt proud of my sister to take this opportunity to share her feelings in a real way, one that made her vulnerable. I also felt proud that I was part of this community.
Of course, community is one of my favorite topics and I spend a lot of time thinking about it. From this Thanksgiving meal, I thought again about how I can help foster a sense of community like the one my sister spoke of. How can I help create a place for my students to feel safe and cared for. I was reminded of how Ayers (2001) speaks of the importance of community in To Teach:
“I believe that people learn best when they are nurtured as well as challenged, when they are allowed to explore, experiment, and take risks. We learn when we feel good about ourselves and others, when we trust the environment and the people in our lives, when we are safe.” (p. 60). I’ve carried this quote with me and look forward to learning more about how to foster this kind of environment.

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3 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. I love this connection to Ayers. It’s really amazing how things that happen in our lives are allowing us to critically think about how we are going to handle certain things in our classrooms! Community is something that exists on so many different scales, and creating that feeling is so important for our students. I love how we can take our experiences in our own communities to forward the positivity of one community into creating another. What things happen in your family community to allow for the vulnerability that your sister was able to feel comfortable expressing? It would be interesting to consider what aspects of your family community could be created in classroom communities.

    • Thanks for your thoughts on this. I hadn’t really thought about the things that happen in my own family and how I could recreate those things in a classroom community. I think some of the things I see in my personal life are many examples of people listening to each other without judgment, always being willing to step in and lend a helping hand and supporting people in the decisions they make (especially the hard ones!). I can envision these things in a classroom setting. One of the reasons I wanted to become a teacher is because I feel like children need people who really listen to them. Thanks for helping me think about this more deeply.

  2. Pingback: My Growth in Blogging | My Road to Teaching

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