Yesterday, I was the fortunate recipient of many gifts.  Some teachers get tons (and large gifts).  I always remark that I need more dry erase markers (for the kids to use no less) and a good pencil sharpener.  I am not a good gift receiver.  For lack of a better term, it feels vainglorious.  It’s like using student gifts to show popularity.  I’m going to be honest, I’m only popular with my students AFTER they’ve had me as a teacher.  However, a brave few are kind enough to gift me with whatever they think I’ll like.  Nice thing is, they ALWAYS get me things that I like. 🙂 I had some who told me they forgot the gift or that someone would bring it later.  That’s OK too.  It’s not a requirement; it’s a kindness.

However, the whole process got me to thinking about blessings.  I figure it’s an affront to living a good life if you don’t recognize them.  If I were religious, I’d say it’s an affront to God not to note when you’re blessed.  However, I’m not so I don’t.

Here are the things I know are blessings in my life right now.

  • I have GREAT students
  • I am lucky to have a thoughtful colleague-friend who is going to coach me
  • I have a good principal who works very hard and cares about every aspect of the school
  • My mom listens to me complain
  • I have AMAZING friends
  • My husband loves me and is a great life partner
  • My son is amazingly funny and brilliant.  He calculated the “12 Days of Christmas” problem, without lyrics or help, and told me how he did it.
  • I have a roof over my head that’s well on its way to being completely paid off in a nice neighborhood with “good” schools
  • My neighbor Alice is fabulous
  • I have a job that emphasizes reflection, which I’m good at
  • I am healthy
  • I have more that I need
  • I live with the best example of community-minded Christianity, even when I’m not following his example, I know I should
  • I have the surplus right now (cause I haven’t gone AWOL and let my emotions make key decisions) to be able to give $250 to support our music program at school
  • I have some excellent room parents who make learning better and who teach me to be a better teacher
  • I have leisure time and the ability to observe the Sabbath

Happy, Merry Whatchamacelebrate.  May your blessings be many this holy season.


4 thoughts on “Blessings

  1. Cassie says:

    I asked for Lysol wipes and hand-sanitizer on my wish list. That being said Iowa has a law that teachers or any public servant can’t accept a gift worth more than $3. In other words, they can’t even buy me a coffee.

    • Suzanne says:

      Wow! They’d be dragging Carol in (as well as other teachers I know). Carol got something like $500 in gift cards and CASH at the end of last year. Most teachers get boxes of Sees Candy (well into the $20 range) and gift cards to Starbucks or Jamba Juice. Hell, we have already given Mrs. Norris a $200 subscription to a social studies magazine, games for rainy day recess, speakers for her computer, and SchoolHouseRock the DVD. For Christmas they bought her books. $3 won’t even get me a slice of pizza from Pizza My Heart!

  2. Cassie says:

    I can’t even imagine a Christmas like that. If we get gift cards we are told spend it on the classroom and keep the receipts.

    • Suzanne says:

      Uhm, me neither. However, it definitely points to the fact that the West Coast is LOADS more conservative than IA. Seriously, at Jazzercise today I noticed an entire wall decorated for Christmas — Santa and everything. We have Holiday sing-a-longs at our school, and a decorated tree in the office. We watch Christmas movies, make gingerbread houses, and presents for the parents. Top it off, we encourage letters to Santa. We must truly be an alternate universe, huh?

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