What would you say is the most popular holiday movie? Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer? Miracle On 34th Street? I’ve always been partial to the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. However, according to several different articles, the most popular holiday movie is It’s a Wonderful Life.

The story, as you might recall, follows George Baily (played by Jimmy Stewart), a good man who has found himself in a very dark place. After years of trying to keep his family business afloat, George now feels like a failure. Confronted with obstacles on all sides, he loudly wishes that he’d never been born. It’s then that a friendly angel, Clarence Odbody, gives George a glimpse of what life would be like if he hadn’t been born. Without George’s selflessness and courage, the world becomes a much colder and crueler place. Though he never realized it, George helped so many people and had a profound impact on his community.

Your Work Matters

As I think about It’s a Wonderful Life, I can’t help but be reminded of the selfless teachers who endured these past two years, and how many of them are in a very low place just like George Baily. 2020 and 2021 saw more challenges than we can name. Educators are feeling broken down and burned out. Many are thinking of leaving the profession altogether. In moments like these, it’s easy to think that nothing you’ve done really matters.

If this is how you’re feeling, then allow me to be you’re Clarence Odbody. Teacher, we cannot even begin to measure the positive impact you have made this year. Your work has literally changed lives. Thanks to you, students were able to go through the year exploring their curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Because of you, communities have seen positive change and taken the first steps toward a better future. Your work has truly made life wonderful!

Happy Holidays

This Holiday season, I hope you take a moment to rest, recharge, and treat yourself to moments of self-care:

  • Turn Off: Leave your work behind and enjoy your time off. Don’t spend a single minute of the holiday working or thinking about work.
  • Do a Digital Detox: 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. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
  • Treat Yourself: What’s the point of a holiday if you don’t treat yourself? Celebrate the holiday season by giving back to yourself a little.
  • Celebrate Your Accomplishments: Let yourself take credit for what you’ve achieved and remember to be proud of your accomplishments. Don’t forget the people who supported you too!

Finally, when school resumes and you find yourself worried about the coming year, remember that all of us at VAI are here and ready to lend a hand. Whether that means free lessons, helpful webinars, or something more specialized, we’re here to help you shoulder the load. Happy Holidays teacher and thank you for all the amazing work you do!

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