“RE@L Thought for the Week!” Vol. 6, November 13, 2017–“Happy Thanksgiving to All!”

UnknownWhat do we have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday? It’s true that many of us have a lot. Yet, we all know some have too little. As caring teachers, we need to work on that disparity.

Sharing was a lesson first taught to the Pilgrims by the Native Americans on our country’s “first” Thanksgiving. The message still rings true: “Share and be grateful.”

Unknown-1Grateful sharing applies to teaching and learning, too. As committed educators, helping others learn leads our list. Yes, we are also thankful for the many powerful new EdTech tools that help us make it happen. We are thrilled to see students helping each other in collaborative learning groups.

But more important, and most of all, we are grateful for these young learners who come to our classrooms, wanting to learn whether they know it or not. Our job is getting them to want to to learn.

That old saying says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” True it is, but you can salt the hay and make them thirsty. That’s just one of our magic teacher tricks we’re grateful for.

Unknown-3Here are some wise and thankful student Thanksgiving responses found on the internet:

•  “Let us be glad for what we do have this year.

•  Let’s be thankful for healthy food. because grampa eats all the healthy food grandma makes, and he is now 68 years old this year!

•  We are thankful for the turkey and what he did for us.

•  Thanks for making us all so rich we can share.”

220px-GKpressGarrison Keillor, our famous Minnesota story teller, wrote this Thanksgiving gratitudinous greeting in a New York Times™ article some years ago. Click on his photo to the left to read it in its entirety. Here’s an excerpt:

“…Thanksgiving isn’t hard to make, which is the beauty of it. You fix a big table full of dinner and plop down and think, ‘Life is good, thank You for this, it could be a lot worse, and I’m grateful it’s not. God bless us. More we do not need.’ “

Screenshot 2017-11-14 12.18.55More we may not need. Yet, still, many do. Not everyone has a big table to sit at, nor do all of us think life is good. That’s why we educators are here. More of our talents and gratitude need to shared with others needs. That’s what teachers do. We pass it on. Teaching career skills and, hopefully, a dose of gratitude to our students.  What an honored profession we have in teaching and education: the passing on of skills and culture.

Our RE@L colleague, Learners Edge™ has a short and pithy Thanksgiving greeting by Barb Istas on teaching Gratitude. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Take a look by clicking on their graphic at the right.

Have a wonderful, grateful, pass-it-on plateful. Happy Thanksgiving to all our RE@L readers!

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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.