Next week we welcome another Turkey Thursday. Another Gobble Fest. Another opportunity to be Truly thankful.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am on the elder side of whoever happens to be in the room. I’m not really sure how that happened. I remember a time when I was the youngest person in the room. A whiz kid, a wunderkind. But at some point, you go from being the youngest person in the room to the oldest. You start to notice little things, like young people (in their 30s and 40s) holding the door for you and calling you sir.

As per being thankful, I should certainly be thankful for that. 62 years and I am still here. So, for me, that is my starting point. But there is so much more.

Professionally, I am having more fun than I have ever had. After 40 years in the biz, I have an exceptionally wide network. I have the good fortune of working with top-flight professionals and being able to pick up the phone and get things done for other people.

I am going into my sixth year, working with the folks at the Learning Counsel. LeiLani Cauthen is absolutely brilliant, and perhaps the most accurate futurist on the planet when it comes to education and the learning biz in general. You can go back and read her writing for the past (almost) 10 years now, and it is uncanny how she predicted the way education would unfold. Even the pandemic didn’t throw her off track. Her partner, Doug Cauthen, is equally brilliant, yet amazingly laid back and a joy to work with. He is the Ying to her Yang, and in my opinion, they are the ultimate power couple in education news media and research.

In addition to my work with the Learning Counsel, I am fortunate to do a good bit of writing, haunting the education press with my prose and meandering OpEds. It always amazes me that anyone would care what I think, but to borrow (and change) a line from Fiddler on the Roof, When you’re old, they think you really know.

I have a son in college at Appalachian State University, and he is doing quite well there. I am so thankful. It’s not that he is making good grades, though he is, but he is so excited about what he is doing. He really cares about his schoolwork and is so turned on by his Finance classes. Hey, the world needs bankers too. He’s happy, so I’m happy. And I am grateful.

Earlier this year, I came through a bout of COVID, and while I was never hospitalized, I had some symptoms that persist to this day. The doctors say it is long COVID, and I am grateful that is what it is. They also say that at some point, they expect the symptoms to relinquish. For that I am thankful and will be happy as a pig in s**t when they finally do.

And speaking of health, I am thankful that those people I care about are either healthy or recovering. It was a rough year for me and mine, but indicators say that everyone is on the mend. And 2023 looks like it will be the healthiest year in many. And I am grateful.

I think we can safely say we are on the backside of the pandemic, and I believe the good developments that came out of the pandemic in education far outweigh the bad. Of course, there will be an adjustment period as we incorporate some new models of learning, and we need to be very careful to monitor the emotional health of our students, teachers and administrative staffs. But we have exceedingly smart people in education, and I am confident that we will figure it all out. And our learners will be all the wiser, and education will be all the better. And I am thankful.

When I pause to take an assessment of my life and what I have to be thankful for this year, I can honestly smile and say, everything. I have been given an extraordinary life, rich with wonderful, caring co-workers, an exciting and challenging career, and the ability to genuinely help people. I have plenty to eat, and my home is warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer.

And if that weren’t enough, I even have a little dog. She’s half Chihuahua, half Dachshund, and all trouble. And she thinks I am a genius.

Yep, life is pretty darned good in the mighty metropolis of Gastonia, NC. And I have what may be the easiest commute in the world. 10 steps and I’m home. And very little traffic.

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 ET Magazine. Unabashedly Southern, Charles likes to say he is an editor by trade and Southern by the Grace of God.