Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lists of Thanks

It’s easy to focus on the bad stuff when you’re a teacher. To only recall that kid who cussed you out because you asked him to sit down, the kid whose parents insist that you lost their child’s homework, the kid who sleeps during class and then wants to make up every assignment after school on the last day of the quarter. But sometimes it’s good to step back and think about the positive. Today after their test, my 10th graders were asked to make a list of the ten things they were the most thankful for. I know it’s a little cheesy, but remember, these kids are 16 years old. They understand that the economy is really bad. Their parents are the ones losing their jobs and the ones who won’t be able to buy Christmas presents this year. The area that they live in has been hit hard by the recession - job loss, unemployment, homelessness, drugs, gangs and general hardship make it a tough area for them to live in. So we made a list. Here is a sampling from their lists…All are from the kids and all are verbatim.

Fair Warning….Some of them made me choke up.

Cell phone and internet (made almost every list)
Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2
Led Zeppelin reunion
Muay Thai
Warm bed
Clean water
How I was raised
That I get to eat every day
My mind
My free education
My faith
Salt, pepper, and spices
Unlimited texting
The fact that at least someone still believes in me
The support I get from my family even though I’ve been through some troubles
Freedom of speech
My mom
Waking up every morning
Hot water for a shower
Being alive today
The opportunities I have and am still being given
My dog
My ethnicity
My brothers (also had a few thankful for sisters)
My auntie’s cookies
Pho noodles
Being a triplet
My good relationship with my mom and dad
The troops and army that are at war
Being able to see
Everyone I love is ok
That we have enough money for necessities
That God did not take my cousin away when he got shot
That I live in a house
Fried chicken, soul food, and kool-aid
My intellegeince (again, spelling is VERBATIM)
Obama, MLK, and other strong black leaders that made it possible for me to be in a class with different races and get the same education
That my parents love each other
That my dad has a job


Frankie and Bella said...

Hi from SITS...the list is so cute. Of course there are some things on there that make us adults think, "back in our days we didn't have..." but it still makes you laugh and there are those ones that bring a tear...

Colleen said...

So great to see that they are thankful for those around them, but it is also good to see that many of them a proud of the people they are becoming with the help of those in their lives.
This is a great idea. I may steal it from you next year.