Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and this is an excellent time in the school year to take a moment and reflect on the teachers and students for whom you are grateful! Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds us to stop and think about the people in our lives who have made a significant impression, who have inspired us to go further, and who have helped you embrace new challenges without fear of failure! In many ways, these people are the teachers and students we’ve met in our lives, which includes YOU, our devoted RAFT educators!
Take time to think about this: who are the teachers and students you’re grateful for?
To me, in a way, we are all teachers in some capacity when we care about another person and want to help them positively learn something. I remember my kinder teacher, Ms. Lamb, and my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Turturici, who encouraged a timid little girl to be whatever she wanted to be. And that little girl was me! I thank them for their patience and persistence. Later on, in life, I carried on their “tradition” with my own kids of making turkey “hands” each Thanksgiving! These women are one of the reasons I became a teacher later in life. I am grateful for the other teachers along the way, too! Being one of the only girls in the Math Department at Santa Clara University, I wish to thank Professor Alexanderson and others for believing in me and encouraging me along my career!
I am also enormously grateful for the students I have taught over the years! They have put up with my goofy jokes and put their faith in my instruction. They rewarded me with enthusiasm for learning long after they have left my classroom. I am grateful for how students inspire me! Despite their own challenges, perspectives, and actions, it’s their quest for acceptance and their enthusiasms for those moments when they “get it” that give me tons of reasons to rejoice that I am a teacher! When teachers help students develop academically, socially, and emotionally, I feel we help the next generation to grow rich with new ideas, confidence, and skills that I hope make the world a better place!
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving (and every other day)? Think about how you can let a teacher or a student know you are thankful for them—gifts are lovely, but words, whether spoken or written, are priceless treasures!

So, I just want you to know that I am very thankful for you! I wish you and yours peace that lasts well beyond the holiday season!  

By Jeanne Lazzarini

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