Intersections: Giving Thanks 2019

November 28, 2019 by Bill Ivey

Last night on Twitter, Sara Truebridge (author of Resilience Begins with Beliefs: Building on Student Strengths for Success in School) hosted a #ResilienceChat focused on giving thanks. As always, her questions are well thought-out, and I want to share them here in case y’all would enjoy thinking through your own answers:

  • Q1: If you could thank one person (living or dead) for his or her influence on your life, who would you thank? 
  • Q2: What is the most valuable lesson you've learned thus far this year? 
  • Q3: What book, article, or blog post are you most grateful for this year? 
  • Q4: How do you stay focused on gratitude throughout the year? 
  • Q5: If you could share Thanksgiving dinner with one famous historical figure, who would you choose and why? 
  • Q6: What does the term “give thanks” mean to you? 
  • Q7: What question would you like to ask others around the Thanksgiving table?
  • Q8: What are you going to do tomorrow as a result of #resiliencechat tonight?

I was in and out of last night’s chat, but here are the answers I was able to give:

  • A1 (briefly here... on the road home) I know it’s cliché but it’s also true - no one has had a deeper and more positive effect on me than my wife. My parents are in a statistical tie though!
  • A2 That living by my principles is both hard and necessary, and that I can always do better - including at keeping that last bit in perspective.
  • A5 - After some thought, I settled on Kimberlé Crenshaw. Going back further in history, Gloria Steinem. And further yet... maybe Gandhi?
  • A8 [in response to my friend Debbie’s own response “I am going to think about what it means to be grateful and not take people for granted.”] Good one! I need to write for my school’s blog - maybe draw on this #ResilenceChat to help.

If I could go back and add answers to the other questions, I might write:

  • A3 Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain  by Zaretta Hammond [link]
  • A4 My nightly sign-off, which includes the hashtag #EverydayKindness, keeps me in touch with the kindnesses I have seen through the day.
  • A6 It means recognizing moments of grace, kindness, courage, honesty, insight, vulnerability, caring,.. all bathed in authenticity.
  • A7 What have been some of the highlights of your year?

And of course, I am eternally grateful for my colleagues who put so much time, effort, and caring into their work, and my students who do the exact same thing, bringing joy, energy, and their wonderful authentic selves into my life.

Written by Bill Ivey

A dedicated member of the faculty, Bill Ivey is the Middle School Dean at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. He teaches Humanities 7 and the Middle and Upper School Rock Bands. Bill is the advisor for MOCA, the middle school student government, and he coordinates and participates in the middle school service program. Among his many hats, Bill also coordinates social media for Stoneleigh-Burnham School.

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Filed Under: Gratitude, Intersections, Thanksgiving