May. 11th, 2011

Ungrateful

May. 11th, 2011 06:33 am
krikketgirl: (Amélie)
Yesterday I was doing an activity with fourth grade: to begin, we watched Patricia Polacco reading her book Thank You, Mr. Falker. I enjoy this story and find it extremely moving, as it tells about a teacher who finally realized that Patricia Polacco (who has dyslexia) couldn't read. His concern for her and his determination to get her the help she needed changed her life.

Every year, after we watch this story, we ask the fourth-graders to write a "thank you" letter to a teacher or staff member who has helped them at some point in their school career so far. Most choose a classroom teacher, some choose a special-area teacher, some write to the principal or the counselor or someone else. Some write no more than, "Thank you for being there for me." Some write long letters full of details.

Yesterday, one young miss sat there for 20 minutes and whined, "I can't think of anybody." And the saddest part was that I was not surprised that she couldn't--not because no one has helped her, but because she is a profoundly ungrateful person. And that made me so sad.

It also made me think about how we take so much for granted, and how easy it is to slip into being ungrateful through pride in our own accomplishments--ignoring others' contributions so that we think we've come all this way on our own.

How much I owe to the librarian who inspired me in first grade; the parents who taught me faith; the ministry who worked to encourage and inspire; the teachers who opened worlds; the supervisors who trained me; the authors who touched me; the friends who have cheered me, challenged me, chosen me; my husband, my children, and all who shape my world.

Thank someone today for all they have done for you. Don't be an ungrateful child, whining about not being able to think of anyone who has ever helped.

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