Really? Kanye?! (Yes, Kanye)
I have a 2 year-old daughter who is obsessed with the Disney movie Moana. I've probably seen this movie about two...no, three...yes, three thousand times over the last four months. I probably could have chosen a lyric from the song, "You're Welcome" for the title of this giving-thanks-themed post, but I was worried the song would get stuck in my head for the next 48 hours and I'd have a psychological breakdown and end up turning my next blog post into a 20-page, all-caps "manifesto" written in comic-sans about the hidden Illuminati messages found within each of the 19 released Pixar films (yes, I had to look that number up).
Instead, I decided to reference another possibly-illuminati-related basket case (just kidding, I know the illuminati don't really exist...*laughs nervously*): Kanye West.
Really? Kanye?! Yes, Kanye, who once wrote:
"So if you admire someone, you should go 'head tell 'em / People never get the flowers while they can still smell 'em."
So this week, I am going to heed Kanye's advice and take a few moments to thank the people in my life that I admire greatly, though I've never (or rarely) said so. No, I'm not going to thank them all here, but I am going to send each of them an email or text or, gasp, actually call them on the phone or talk to them in person ("Eew, in person??" said everyone under the age of 22. Yes, think of "in person" as "analogue FaceTime")!
At my school, we do a week of gratitude leading up the the Thanksgiving break where students and teachers write thankful/grateful notes to one another. It's really wonderful and gives students and teachers an opportunity to practice exactly what Kanye preaches (no, we don't also walk around declaring that Beyonce had one of the greatest music videos of all time). I can't tell you how many notes I've received from students over the years that left me thinking, "Wow! I had no idea they felt this way!" or "I can't believe that little thing I did that one time mattered so much!" Other times, I'd just weep openly at my desk while reading these heartwarming notes (just kidding, I didn't really weep...*laughs nervously*).
At the bottom of this entry, I've posted quite a few of the notes I received this year from students (former, current, and other) and colleagues. I hope the silly ones make you smile at least half as much as they made me smile, and I hope the heartwarming ones do the same. I struggled with the idea of posting these because they are somewhat personal in nature (they were sent to me, not written in the sky—though, how cool would that have been??) and, frankly, I didn't want this post to turn into a mere outlet for my humblebrags (that's what my Instagram is for). I ultimately decided to share these notes because part of why I started this blog was to share my experience in education, even with (or especially for) non-educators.
The feelings expressed by students and colleagues in these notes are pretty commonplace in our schools, even if the physical notes are not. There are many great teachers and non-teachers in the world who go about their day, doing what they love to do for all the right reasons...and are never told just how wonderful and appreciated they are. So yeah...Kanye West was right: If you admire someone, go ahead and tell them. You'll feel good, and the person you tell will feel great.
I wish for you all to have a happy Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends and family. Thanks again for reading these first three blog posts. I promise that next week's won't be so sappy. If anything, it will will serve as an interesting experiment on how much stuffing, gravy, and pie one can have in their system before it starts affecting brain functionality. These are the burning scientific questions that I am selflessly willing to take on to further our society. What can I say, except you're welcome?