What are you thankful for?

Soon Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving. Whether you’re in the U.S. or not, we can all take a moment to express what we as teachers are thankful for. My top 10 are as follows:

1. I’m thankful I found my calling: English language instruction.

2.  I’m thankful I’ve had students who have placed their trust in me as their teacher.

3. I’m thankful to live in this digital age because it has allowed me to grow professionally in ways I never expected.

4. I’m thankful to the technology gurus who provide the tools and the packages for online instruction.

 5. I’m thankful for the books which I’ve been given and which I’ve bought because although a lot of information is online, some authors and editors have compiled useful references that I need as a teacher and materials writer. I’d be lost without my library.

 6. I’m thankful to colleagues I’ve met at schools, through online communities, and at TESOL conventions. They teach me, encourage me, inspire me, and from time to time assist me in preparing materials.

 7. I’m thankful to all my teachers in the past, from elementary school on up to graduate school. Particularly the ones from my youth have become models. Because of them, I’ve aspired to be the kind of teacher who is remembered for not just what she teaches but how she teaches.

 8. I’m thankful to have had the experience of teaching abroad. My experience was limited to one country overseas, but I have more awareness of what is common to and what is different between ESL and EFL.

 9. I’m thankful I’ve failed and made mistakes both as a language learner and as a teacher. Sounds illogical, I admit. But for example, if I hadn’t done so poorly on my French placement exam back at Bryn Mawr College, I wouldn’t have begun the deep reflection I’ve done on what it means to be a good language learner and an effective language teacher. Also, during my teacher training practicum at a Pittsburgh high school, I had to face the toughest crowd: urban teens. I learned the humbling lesson that despite my determination, I couldn’t teach everyone effectively at each lesson. Through my mistakes, I learned the importance of classroom management and intrinsic motivation.

 10. I’m thankful that you’re reading this posting! I hope you’ll visit again and offer some ideas for further discussion.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. saro rosales says:


  2. marjorie says:

    i’m thankful that i’m subscribed to your blog because you have been such an inspiration for sharing a great deal to beginner teachers like me.
    thanks a lot!

  3. rahimullah says:

    hello how is it going

    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      Very well, thank you. I’d like to invite you to English Cafe.com. It’s a good place for students to post questions.
      Good luck in your studies!

  4. hello dear jennifer i like your style and teaching u r good teacher .coz u teach slowely so thanks for that love u bye

  5. antonio says:

    I’m realizing that after I’ve watched so many videos you’ve been so kind to set for us english lerners on you tube ,I feel you as a distant relation ( I hope you could catch what I mean). I think your work is very well made and it’s for your advice I’ve found out english cafè where I’m studying now. I’m studying English 5-6 hours/week from 2006 and it’s a real must for my daily schedule . Now I’m able to understand the most part of what I hear and it’s like a deaf who realizes that now he can hear. It’s wonderful. Thank you.

    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      And for me it’s a privilege to be in a position where I can offer guidance to so many language learners.
      Thank you.
      Warm wishes,

  6. Mo says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Wow, I enjoyed the simplicity and depth of your gratitude. How often we take for granted the many gifts we’ve been given.
    I’m a TEFL /Business teacher in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and at times I get really discouraged with my students.

    It seems like they’re not making much progress if any at all.

    But You helped me see that little things do make a difference.

    Thanks a bunch.



    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      Hi Mo,

      I’ve had that feeling of discouragement before, too. Little steps do add up to big forward moves. 🙂

      We talk a lot about motivating our students, and that’s definitely important, but I think it’s also necessary to encourage one another as teachers.

      All the best to you and your students,

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