This Year, I am Thankful for…
It has become something of a tradition each year around Thanksgiving to write a piece about being grateful – what I am thankful for each year.
This year I have so much for which to be thankful. It seems the older I get, the more grateful I am. The first item on my list would have to be health. Though it has been a very challenging year, we all finished up on the right side of the ledger. Kristina and my youngest son are currently surviving a bout with COVID, and I have managed to slip by another year in relative health; my largest complaint is the ravages of old age. It is amazing what happens when we age, but by any measure, it certainly beats the alternative.
I am also very thankful for the Learning Counsel. This relatively small educational organization continues to pack a big punch, guiding school districts through a very challenging time in our history. And thanks to our own version of the Energizer Bunny, our CEO LeiLani Cauthen, whose leadership and uncanny prognostication abilities have been helping education leaders blaze a trail through education’s digital transition for the better part of a decade.
With all the consternation caused by the pandemic, it wouldn’t surprise me if education leaders were hiding their heads in the sand, waiting for the confusion to pass so they can return to days of old. But that’s just not the case. Instead, education leaders are displaying the finest kind of leadership, using all the negatives to drive what is perhaps the greatest positive in the history of modern education, the power of “What If.”
I couldn’t be prouder of my education brethren. Since that fateful week in March 2020 when the world stopped, not a day has gone by that the men and women of education haven’t looked for a good, better or best way to get the job done. Who would have believed that we could have transitioned so well into remote learning? And then hybrid learning. And then, in-person, no, hybrid, no, wait, no, well okay, come on in. With daily headlines about masks and teacher shortages and staff shortages, it would have been so easy for America’s educators to fold their tents and go home.
But that’s not what America’s educators are all about. Without a shadow of a doubt, America’s educators are the most wonderful, dedicated individuals on God’s green earth. All of them. Teachers. Principals. Curriculum folks. Technology folks. Superintendents. All handed the same lousy hand, and all determined to make the best of it.
Because they know something very important. Our children are our future. There is nothing more precious, and nothing more valuable. And education isn’t about a job. It goes much deeper than that. And our educators know that. They walk the walk and talk the talk every day. And the job gets done right. And I am grateful.
I am also grateful for the men and women in the supply side of education. In curriculum and technology and everything our children need to learn. Like our educators, the men and women in EdTech and EdBiz have done a remarkable job. And they continue to do so. Many of these companies work closely with the Learning Counsel. And perhaps many more should. But to a person, these folks refused to say die, and many worked around the clock to ensure that little Johnnie and Janney got the tech they needed for the transition to remote learning. It was amazing to watch and be a part of. I have never seen such grit and determination and character on display. Just wonderful.
And a few call-outs.
Many of you who work with the Learning Counsel are familiar with Doug Cauthen, our Chief Operating Officer. In my 61 years, I have never met a kinder, more professional co-worker. He is the glue that holds the organization together, and the enthusiasm that makes it sing.
And for those of you who enjoy being in the know about the Learning Counsel events, a call out to Chris Kight. He does the editing of our many videos and makes sure we get the emails we need.
And there are many others. Although the Learning Counsel is a relatively small organization, it is made up of the most talented, dedicated folks you’ll meet anywhere. There’s a reason that such a small group of people can accomplish so much. In fact, if you follow history, it is usually the small, dedicated groups of people who have made the greatest positive changes, who have changed history for the better.
This year, I hope you take a moment and write down what you are thankful for. It keeps things in perspective. And for some reason, when I am focusing on gratitude, I rarely have time for problems.
And one more thing. I am grateful for you, the Learning Counsel followers. Thank you for being a part of what we do. It couldn’t happen without you.
About the author
Charles Sosnik is an education journalist and editor and serves as Editor in Chief at the Learning Counsel. An EP3 Education Fellow, he uses his deep roots in the education community to add context to the education narrative. Charles is a frequent writer and columnist for some of the most influential media in education, including the Learning Counsel, EdNews Daily, EdTech Digest and edCircuit. Unabashedly Southern, Charles likes to say he is an editor by trade and Southern by the Grace of God.