Happy, Thankful, Hopeful

Happy, Thankful, Hopeful

I am a thankful person, a grateful person, an optimist. I am a glass half full, love Mondays, and benefit of the doubt kind of person. I take delight in the little things, find myself in awe of others and choose happy every day. For me to dwell in this place of positivity can sometimes be awkward, sometimes uncomfortable, and even sometimes makes me feel a little guilty. It is awkward when someone responds to me as if I am naïve for being this way, giving me a reality check with a laundry list of, well, of dirty laundry. It is uncomfortable when I am dismissed or seen as disingenuous for doing my part to spread good vibes, and treated as though I have blinders on to the woes and worries of the world. I even sometimes feel a twinge of guilt about my happiness when I observe the angst, suffering, hurt, and struggles of others.

I assure you; I am not blind to the myriad of challenges that are a part of so many lives each and every day. You cannot be in education without witnessing the daily challenges many contend with or the life altering tragedies that seemingly come out of nowhere and cause devastation for students and their families. This year more than any other, the COVID-19 Pandemic has given educators in the front row an even more magnified view of these unfortunate situations; a pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on public education across the country.

So how do I rectify the reality of the abundance of misfortune with the nature of my sunny disposition and outlook on life? I focus on hope.

Just as you cannot be in education without witnessing daily struggles and challenges, you also cannot be in education without witnessing instances of perseverance, tenacity, determination, growth, and resolve. Being surrounded by students is literally being surrounded by hope. What can be more hopeful than to witness their endearing personalities, endless energy, and love for learning? Then to watch them acquire, create, and apply knowledge through innovation, inquiry, and collaboration? Then to look at them, filled with awe and wonder, and imagine all the possibilities that may lie ahead? To be associated with so much potential gives so much hope. I cannot imagine a more hopeful environment to spend time and energy on, and I am so very thankful that I chose this profession.

I can now only hope that others see it as well; this profession is something to be thankful for. This profession that has been relied upon to do more than provide an education for the masses. This profession that feeds, clothes, and cares for children in too many ways to list. This profession that supports parents and families and communities and other professions and companies and the economy and our country. This profession that I am thankful for is deserving of thanks as well, in real ways that matter. Even though the struggles in education this past year have been substantial, I am hopeful that the impact of educators is more evident now than ever before.

Kellie May is a veteran educator of 26 years, having spent her career in Salt Lake City School District. She is the 2019 Utah Teacher of the Year, which is how she became familiar with the #LoveTeaching Week Twitter Campaign. Kellie loves spreading good vibes so participating in LTW was a natural fit. This year is her first year organizing the campaign, along with fellow educators Stacey McAdoo and Rachael Wilcox. “Thank you CCSSO and NNSTOY for providing me opportunities to connect with the most incredible educators on the planet!”






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