We’re now only days away from Thanksgiving. If you’re like me, you’re probably scrambling to tie up all the loose ends before you step out to celebrate. In the world of education there’s always another lesson to plan, another paper to grade, or a student who needs support. So, as I sat down to write my blog this morning, it was a relief to already know what I would write about.

I’m writing about you, valued teacher.

Thanksgiving is a time when we express appreciation for the things that matter most. While I’ve already written on the value of gratitude itself, I wanted to take this moment to express my sincere thankfulness for educators like you. 2021 has been a grueling year, and throughout it all, you’ve worked to make your classrooms a safe and empowering place for students. You’ve stood your ground against a pandemic, political unrest, and a constantly shifting educational landscape. You are all nothing short of amazing.

Thank You…

Of course, saying “thank you” is the least we can do. I don’t want to minimize how taxing this year has been on teachers. I know many of you are feeling burned out and frustrated. For some, it’s all you can do just to make it to the holidays! So, I’d like to leave you with more than a few words of gratitude. Here are a few things I’d like you to do this Thanksgiving:

  • Turn Off: Leave your work behind and enjoy your day off. Don’t spend a single minute of the holiday working or thinking about work. Let yourself turn off and enjoy your time away from the classroom. If it helps, one enterprising educator has even supplied teachers with a physical light switch so they can “turn off” their worry about school. Don’t feel bad – you deserve it!
  • Do a Digital Detox: Speaking of “turning off”, try spending some time away from social media. Instead, give your mind a chance to refresh itself. Play a boardgame with your family. Try your hand at cooking a new recipe. If the weather is cooperating, enjoy the outdoors and soak up the beautiful fall colors. One of my favorite things to do is watch a classic movie I’ve never seen. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
  • Treat Yourself: What’s the point of a holiday if you don’t treat yourself? Like sweets? Treat yourself to something tasty! Are you a responsible adult who refrains from making impulse purchases? Buy something fun and shiny! Do you want to spend the entire day sipping cocoa and binge-watching Netflix? Then do precisely that! Celebrate the holiday season by giving back to yourself a little.
  • Celebrate Your Accomplishments: This last one is a little difficult. I don’t know about you, but I don’t typically celebrate my success. Once a project is finished it’s on to the next, no pomp or ceremony required. This Thanksgiving, let yourself take credit for what you’ve achieved and remember to be proud of your accomplishments. Don’t forget to thank the people who supported you too!

…and Happy Thanksgiving!

Teachers, you are extraordinary, and our world is so much better because of you. So, on behalf of myself and everyone at Van Andel Institute for Education, thank you for all the amazing and wonderful work that you do. I hope you take this week to relax and restore yourselves, and if you need any assistance when you get back, do be afraid to reach out. We are always happy to support educators with free lessons, classroom strategies, comprehensive PD, and so much more. For now, though, you’ve more than earned your time off. Go out and celebrate!

Looking for more resources to take the burden off your classroom this year? Be sure to check out our free strategies and lessons at Blueappleteacher.com!