It is sometimes hard to be thankful in the midst of a global pandemic. So much of our thought process centers around what we have lost and not what we have. This is after all the American way as we are often encouraged to think about what we don’t have and about how much better our life would be if we only had this or that. This year we often lament what we cannot or do not have. We think of the large social gatherings, the assurance we found in thinking that we knew what the future held, giving hugs to family and friends, traveling, etc. As an educator, I lament about the lost instruction, the awkwardness of social distancing in schools, the effects of not being able to greet students with a smile, or the inconsistencies of not being able to have a predictable year. I think of all the things that our students could miss this year, the things that make school so enjoyable and fun. It is easy to get so lost in what we don’t have that what we do completely escapes our thinking. 

I am incredibly thankful that for the previous three months our students were able to be in our buildings. I am thankful for the smiles that were shared behind the masks, for the sporting events that we were able to host, and for the relationships that were built. I am also incredibly thankful for the work that our staff have been doing to catch students up and to start to tackle these large achievement gaps that formed since last spring. I am thankful for my family and all the joy that they bring. I am thankful to be able to work a job that I love and to work with people that I enjoy being around. There is so much to be thankful for if we just stop and reflect on all that we do have. 

I encourage you to pause this Thanksgiving and reflect on all that you have to be thankful for. When we reflect on what we are thankful for, it often has an effect on how we perceive the world. Our thought patterns affect our attitude which in turn affects the way that we interact with life. Live out thankfulness and you just might discover you have a lot to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving Crookston! 

Jeremy Olson
Crookston School District
218-770-8717 (cell)