Thursday, November 26, 2015


For teachers and students alike, November can be a drag.  The school year is well underway, but Christmas vacation seems far off.  Winter illnesses start to hit, and as the work piles up, everyone is bound to feel spread just a little bit thin.

Perhaps this is why it is all the more critical to take time in the middle of this long stretch to reflect on the blessings--there's always something to be grateful for, but in the midst of busy lives and a hectic schedule, it can be all too easy to overlook these good things.

Today was a half-day of school, a Thursday noon dismissal for a long Thanksgiving weekend.  I rode up to Takayama with my wife and some friends, and am now sitting in a warm cabin by the beach.

Of course I am grateful for the break in the routine, however brief, and the fact that I get to spend it with my wife, but for this post, I want to focus on the blessings related to my teaching.

I'm grateful for the classes I teach and the students I get to work with--even when I'm feeling tired and worn, I'm excited for each new day.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to grow professionally through my Master's courses.  It can be hard work, but going back to school was the right decision in every way.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to grow professionally in new roles at CAJ.  I've thoroughly enjoyed serving as a PLC (professional learning community/department) leader and a member of the R&D (Research & Development/curriculum) team this year, and the many thought-provoking and fun discussions I've been able to have with my colleagues in those capacities.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to coach debate.  It is so much fun to brainstorm ideas with the students as they research, organize their arguments and write.  I'm amazed by the hard work the students have already put in, and I'm looking forward to the first competition next Wednesday.

I'm grateful for the discussion my Juniors had earlier today after finishing Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.  They all shared their lasting impression of the book and I was encouraged to hear so many students say how powerful the book was in opening their eyes to the horror of slavery.

I'm grateful for the progress that my yearbook staff has made even though we are still five months from our deadline.  We're way ahead of schedule!

All in all, I'm grateful for my job.  I'm fast coming up on 7 years at CAJ, and there's nowhere else I'd rather be!

1 comment:

  1. I'm grateful that you found a great place to grow in your teaching skills, connected with a good church community, and that you met Tomomi, too.