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I am thankful for...food

Last year I did a series on things I was thankful for, but this year it is going to be summed up in one post. I am thankful for so many things including my husband, spitfire little boy, friends, family, amazing co-workers, and welcoming new students and school. But today I want to focus on one thing that is very often overlooked, food. I am thankful that I never have to worry where my next meal is coming from. 

Our Thankful Turkey (student hands with things they are grateful for on each finger)

This year I have realized more than ever some of our students are dealing with SO much more than just school, and for some of them this means hunger. Here are a couple examples from this school year so far:

  • After devouring pizza won as a reward for lunch, freshman still go to school lunch to get their meal.
  • Students are extremely hungry on Mondays after the weekend. 
  • Any food brought in to share is devoured by a pack a wildebeests (teenagers). 
I do not know about you, but when I am hungry I get hangrey and cry easily. I can not even imagine what it is like for students when the only meals they eat are school breakfast and lunch. No wonder they are not A students. Effort requires fuel, and without it many are running on empty. Even as well feed teachers, when we find out there are treats in the lounge it is a mad dash for those bars. Food just makes us feel better. 

Can one teacher change the world? Possibly. Can one teacher change the life of a student? Absolutely. Here are a couple ideas that we recently put into action. I wanted to make sure that my Monday morning first hour Spanish 1 class had fuel for their final, so I made muffins. I know we spend a lot of money out of pocket, but a couple dollars for a box of muffins seemed to brighten the day of some hungry freshman. Our national honor society (which I am sponsor of this year), just held a food drive, as a battle between the classes. Just yesterday, the food was divided up to give to local families. I hope that holiday break at these homes is a little brighter this Thanksgiving. 

Over these past couple of years I have softened a LOT as a teacher and have become more human. I think the main reason for this is I have realized I need to look at the whole student. My first year when I caught a student cheating, I took it as a person attack on me and my class. Now I realize if you ask the student about the incident you find out hey are overwhelmed by work, school, parent issues, boyfriend drama, not having enough to eat and know that they have to succeed on this quiz to pass a class. All you have to do is ask, and listen. 

So remember that not every student is as thankful for this break as you are. Going home to any empty cupboard and no celebration is not as exciting as what you have planned (Thanksgiving #3 & #4 for me). Monday morning they will be very thankful to be back in your class. If you do happen to have school tomorrow (bless you), here are some ideas of things you could do: Lista lunes: Thanksgiving. Have a blessed holiday and as always, thank you for reading and being a part of my journey!

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