Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, families and friends gather round to give thanks for warmth, love, companionship, support, and all the knowledge shared and given in our lives. This gratitude for friends and family is usually accompanied with a feast. We stuff turkeys and then we stuff our bellies. We share laughs and for some, the holiday season is the only quality time we get with our families throughout the year. And while Thanksgiving is a funny occasion filled with excessive food and football, it is always a special time of year where we reflect on what we are truly thankful for in our lives.
This month, the CYBR Communications Team decided to give thanks to the great heroes and heroines that have shaped and molded not only our minds, but also our hearts. These AmeriCorps members then shared each of their stories with a special student in a socio-emotional lesson. In the pictures that follow, you will see students' interpretations of the lessons that their AmeriCorps members shared with them in hopes of creating another ripple of hope.
I still remember the day you told your 7th grade English class that one should never tell anyone else to stop crying. Telling someone to stop crying could be equated to telling someone to stop feeling an emotion. Thank you for teaching me that it is okay to cry. With this lesson I have encouraged myself and the students I work with to think about something: crying in public, commonly seen as a sign of vulnerability or weakness, has a hidden beauty. Tears are a natural expression of human thought, and crying --a saltwater-constructed admittance of fear, sadness, and raw emotion-- is an act of strength.
Thank you for everything,
Dear Mom (aka my high school theatre teacher),
Thank you so much for encouraging me to try everything I could possibly try. It’s because of you I have been able to really discover who I am. Thank you for always cheering me on. Now I will always know the power of cheering others on and giving others encouragement.
You have taught me many life lessons throughout the years you were my teacher. The most important lesson you taught me was to question everything. It really has taught me that nothing is what it seems and to really think through everything. Thank you for being a role model to me.
I want to say thank you to Ms Davis. In all the anarchy of my kindergarten experience, with joining the school midway into the year and having to make new friends during the transition, I always felt stable. You made my dad feel like a part of the classroom when he visited, which made me feel like school was home. You made reading, especially aloud, more than a privilege; it was a gift. My introduction to school was sincere and welcoming. I never feared school because you were the first to guide me through it.
One of Your Flowers In Bloom
Dear Senora Roberson,
You terrified everyone and reveled in the power that gave you. But you used your power for good: you taught us the power of language, the value of other people’s stories, and the benefits of stepping outside of your comfort zone. For those lessons, and many others, I will always be grateful.
Thank you, Dr. A, for teaching me that before anything else--that I must be a good person. You taught me that it didn't matter if I got straight A's, was a good singer, or got chosen for student council if I didn't remember to treat people with respect, dignity, and kindness. As I've grown older and tried my best to live as you taught me to, I've also found it easier to look for the good in others. You taught me to be thoughtful, and to always act with pure intentions, a lesson I'm now lucky enough to share with my students.
Dear Mrs. K,
Thank you for showing me that teaching is my true passion. Having you as my mentor during internship was one of the greatest blessings I could have asked for. Watching you run your classroom and seeing how the kids respected you and loved you was inspiring. Thank you for allowing me to work with a special student that touched my life forever and taught me more than I ever could have taught him. I owe so much to you and I hope you know what an amazing, wonderful, and special teacher you are!
Thank you, Mr. B, for catching me that one time when I was trying to cheat on my final math exam of high school. It helped me realize how important it is for me to stay honest with myself. I learned most that prior proper planning prevents poor performance.
For all the lessons, we thank you!
City Year Baton Rouge Communications Team