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#ThankfulTeacher: Sharing Why Her School is Best

#ThankfulTeacher: Sharing Why Her School is Best

Do teachers take time to step back and appreciate what their school has to offer? This teacher does. 

In a recent post on TeachingQuality.org, Ariel Sacks, an eighth and ninth grade English teacher in Queens, lists nine ways she appreciates her school.

"I know many teachers who love to teach, but how many teachers honestly say they love the schools in which they teach? Inside scoop? Not enough," Sacks said. "Schools, especially urban schools, are so often plagued with various levels of frustration. Usually, there is no one character at fault, and no one simple solution. Education is a complex and flawed system—the problems are interconnected. And yet, despite deep flaws in our system and society, there are schools that find ways to move in a forward direction, creating conditions for teaching and learning to be a joyous and sustainable process."

One reason why she is thankful is her school's "community".

"I am teaching in my own community. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for seven years, which is not so long, but this truly is my home and it feels grounding to serve the students and families in the community where I also live," she said. "The school itself serves pre-K-12 in one building, and it has been in the neighborhood for 20+ years, so the sense of community and connection with the neighborhood is strong. Many teachers send their children to this school, and a few teachers are former students!"

Her last reason, Sacks said, is her students.

"I’ve always loved getting to know my students and being a part of their lives no matter where it is or the conditions surrounding our work," said Sacks. "However, right now I’m thankful for my current students, who have welcomed me into their school, a place many of them have attended since kindergarten and which they know far better than I do. Despite being adolescents and having their share of teen angst, they seem to genuinely like and appreciate their school. This came through loud and clear during our Thanksgiving feast when 8th graders each got to say what they are thankful for… and I can see why! The fact that most of my students come to me as 8th or 9th graders with positive prior experiences in school creates favorable conditions for us to develop relationships and to focus on learning."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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