First, the superficial gratitude: I’m grateful for my car. 110,000 miles and still running like a champ. And I don’t know of many more happy feelings than having the heater on full blast in 20 degree weather.

But I’m not going to go out on gratitude posting with an ode to my car. Today, I am grateful for change.

Change is all around me as a high school teacher. I watch my students change. Right now, my district is changing. My own teaching philosophy has changed in a short four months.

I used to be so afraid of change. I reveled in my comfort zone and didn’t like to leave it. And around this time last year, I felt it happening. To be completely cliche, the “stirrings in my soul” screamed at me: “You. Must. Do. Something. Different.”

I was pretty safe then. I taught school, I taught piano, I did what I had always done. The change started small. I answered a post on the English Companion Ning about a possible panel at a national conference. Something so seemingly insignificant was a catalyst for an absolute banner year.

A banner year that would not have happened if I was unwilling to accept change. To go outside my comfort zone. This year has changed me quite a bit, in some ways that I’m willing to share and in other ways that are still a bit too raw. But all of the change has been good.

And so, to completely ramp up the cheese factor, I end this year’s gratitude-fest with this–something else I am totally grateful for…(fast forward to 3:24)

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