Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Week 12 – Be a Secret Santa Everyday


During this time of the year, we are often so focused on all of the things we have to do.  We need to buy gifts, get our homes ready for visitors, decorate…

Often we think being a Secret Santa is buying something for someone.  The idea is that the person gets a gift from someone who is a secret.  Often, it is easy to figure out exactly who it came from.

Have you had a Secret Santa or been a Secret Santa?  At times in the past, I have drawn a name to be a gift giver.  I would try to give them something that they would like.

A few days ago, I was entering my local department store.  Outside the entrance, there were about 20 people braving the cold, wet, windy weather collecting toys to “toys for tots.”  I went inside to get that one item that I needed only to find that they did not carry it.  I ended up buying some toys instead.  When I delivered the small bag of toys, I asked how long they were going to be there.  They were going to be there for a few more hours.  I went to an office store next to the Dollar Tree.  I decided to go inside to get some more toys.  It has been a tradition since my kids were very small that we would go in and buy toys for other kids that they did not know.  I would usually let them buy 10 toys each.  As my kids are now teens, I was all on my own.  I ended up leaving with 2 bags of toys.  As I started to return to where they were collecting the toys, I thought of MKMMA and all that I have been learning.  I weaved my way through the rush hour traffic and delivered the toys met with a warm thank you.

Being of service to others does not mean that you have to spend money.  A smile, a hug, a kind word can all be just as valuable.

In our class, we are reminded to “Give more – Get more.”  We have also talked about the importance of doing thing and not expecting anything in return.  The idea is to make our part of the world better.  When the world around us is better, our lives will be better.  I started off my class with a scholarship that someone paid for on my behalf.   We live by pay-it-forward mentality.

As I continue this month and into the next year, I hope to carry this Secret Santa mentality with me.  I hope that you will too.



someone cares

Should we go back to corporal punishment?  Have we created a generation of ungrateful, privileged kids?

This week, I was challenged by 8th graders.  Were they all monsters? NO

I found myself reciting Og Mandino as though I was reciting my evening prayers. “Today I begin a new life…  I will greet this day with love in my heart…”

When I was in junior high school, teachers used corporal punishment.  On the wall next to the door was a paddle usually with a witty name.  Looking back it was rarely used if ever.

We sat in our seats, respected our teachers, and wanted to learn.  If we were in trouble in school, we would be punished at home also.

Have we raised kids who expect everything to be given to them?  Do they really feel that entitled?

Let me tell you about what I encountered this week while substitute teaching.

  1. While I was lecturing, students would get up to throw things away and sharpen their pencils. What happened to being ready before class starts?
  2. Students wanted to yell across the room.
  3. They had their phones out playing games or listen to music.
  4. Students wanted to sit on the desks rather than in chairs or kick back with their feet on their desk.
  5. They felt that it was ok to snap their fingers to get my attention. Where did they learn that behavior?
  6. One student announced to the class “Don’t worry you do not have to learn it because (the permanent teacher) would teach it when they got back just like they do every time there is a sub.”
  7. Students sat there waiting for me to put the answers on the overhead so they could copy them down even though it was homework.

Have we raised kids to stop thinking for themselves? Has everything been given to them with no expectations?

Let me make it clear. NOT ALL students were disrespectful, inattentive, and lazy. In every class, there were students wanting to learn, paying attention, and often apologizing for their classmates.  These students will be the leaders of this generation.  What will happen to the rest?

I love to teach! I chose to be a teacher not a babysitter.  I love seeing the smiles when students understand something that was getting the best of them. The light bulb moments that happen are our reward as an educator.

Today is Thanksgiving!  Thank you to the teachers who spend so much time with our children each day and do their best to change their lives for the better.

This week nurture a child for they are our future. Next week have them thank their teachers.