Part of the Process

Thoughts on becoming a teacher.


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Giving Thanks

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.