I do love Thanksgiving. It’s one of those holidays when families can get together under a simple premise that we give thanks. There’s no need to exchange gifts and few expectations beyond a properly cooked turkey and a large enough TV to watch the football games. Those of us with full time jobs are thankful for our ability to provide for our families, purchase things we need, and arrange the occasional vacation. Yet, at Thanksgiving the focus is on people. When we sit across from our families and friends Thursday, we will be eye to eye with the ones we love. In the end, we are certainly thankful for what makes our life a bit more comfortable. But for me, I am most thankful for my family, friends, and those I work with.
I am also very thankful for my job. It’s not an easy one and most days you enter the building not quite knowing what challenges you will face. But while the Sunday night butterflies will always remain despite my over 2000 school days working as a Principal, I still love the hugs and high fives from kids, the daily laughs in the office, working out solutions to problems, and seeing growth in faculty while initiatives move forward.
Here are ten things this Principal is thankful for as we head into Thanksgiving 2011:
I am thankful for…
1. Hopkinton parents who are overwhelmingly positive about what we do at HMS and when they are critical, they do it kindly. They are also amazing volunteers.
2. A staff full of professionals who not only work hard but are still hungry to learn more. In 2011, I would place my own children in any one of the classrooms in my school.
3. The new teachers who have entered our HMS community and have brought new ideas and fresh energy.
4. The students who are generally respectful, happy, and eager to learn.
5. My “boss”, the Superintendent, a man of integrity, always striving to do what’s right while maintaining an amazing balance in his life.
6. My Leadership Team colleagues who are able to give me advice and counsel with a perspective unlike any one else’s.
7. The Central Office specifically; in a world where the local school and the district office are often at odds, it is refreshing to find such professionalism and good cheer in that funky little building next to Maple Street School.
8. New technology tools allowing our students to be creative and engaged in their learning.
9. Our new playground built in part to a $100,000 donation and scores of hard working volunteers.
10. A School Board that understands education in the 21st Century and is very supportive of district staff.
This is but a slice. It’s a good exercise; develop your own top ten list and you may find yourself even more thankful this November 24.