Teachers are, to me, some of the greatest unsung heroes. Of course, I'm biased. My husband is a teacher, and I can tell you that this is a position that is like few others in regard to the types of demands placed on it. Teachers are often torn between conflicting interests and expected to legislate a comfortable middle ground. They hold a job where they are always "on," always performing, always being critiqued, often publicly. (Especially high school teachers.) They have so much more to do than the job they actually get paid for ~ and they do it, day after day, with tremendous pressure from every angle. Yet they manage to supervise French club, offer extra help and mentorship, coach sports teams, and attend talent shows and car washes. And kids actually like teachers. Most of them, anyway.
I'm thankful, too, for those teachers who aren't teachers just by way of having a job title. These are the born instructors. Enthusiastic and generous, they're fantastic resources, willing to sharing their mastery.
Consider pinewood derbies, for example. They probably wouldn't exist without the tool-belt slingers who show up in gyms and church basements and community centers to shape wooden blocks into aerodynamic race cars and explain the principles of friction and load balance to 8-year-olds.
And then there are those who teach the icing-on-the-cake things ~ knitting, fly-tying, stretching the pocket of a lacrosse stick ~ that often germinate friendships by cementing connections through shared hobbies. Priceless!
I'm pretty thankful to a friend at work who has patiently taught me several new culinary skills for no other reason than because I asked him to (and not at all because I bribed him with pastry). Because he's a chef and I'm a baker, he's not required or expected to teach me anything, but I'm really grateful that he's willing to. Tasks he probably takes for granted ~ filleting a fish, breaking down a chicken ~ are new to me and therefore terrifically exciting.
Teachers, whether professional or personal, give their students the wherewithal to accomplish something good for themselves, regardless of the scale, effectively empowering them. And that is definitely something to appreciate.
What are you thankful for today?