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November 27, 2014

I Am Grateful for...

By Rhonda Stewart
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Teaching is not an easy job. It requires dedication and perseverance. It also requires support from our co-workers. Our colleagues become our work family. We end up spending a good portion of our waking hours with the people that we work with. I am grateful that I am a part of a school community that supports and nurtures each other.

    For the past two years, I have been blessed to work with an incredible group of teachers. Our administration made the decision to split the sixth grade into four teams, A,B,C, and D with each subject area represented (science, social studies, math, and literacy). I happen to work on Team A. Working on this team has proven to be an invaluable asset to me in my work. Last year was the first year that we collaborated together. I will admit that we were hesitant at first, but as we became more comfortable with each other, the workload became more manageable. For this process, I am extremely grateful!

    During this time of year, we often reflect on those things for which we are thankful. With my team members in mind, I am thankful for:

     

    Lesson planning together — sharing ideas to make lessons interesting, sharing resources to enhance instruction.

     

    Monthly lunches where we get to kick back, enjoy some good food, and laugh.



    Our ability to agree to disagree (respecting our differences).

    AND..

    • Having an ear to listen to my concerns or when I am having a bad day

    • Sharing joyous moments that connect us as “family”

    • Covering my classes during a bathroom run

    • Sharing healthy recipes

    So from my school family to yours, wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and that you take a moment to reflect on who you are thankful to have by your side at school as well!


    Thanksgiving Recipe to Share: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    (This recipe is from one of my favorite singers — Ms. Patti LaBelle. I did make a few slight changes for my family’s palate.)

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    Ingredients:

    5 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed

    ½ stick of unsalted butter (softened)

    ¼ cup of sugar

    Ground cinnamon to taste (this is one of my changes — my family loves cinnamon, so I add more than the suggested ¼ teaspoon)

    Nutmeg to taste ( another change — my family also likes the taste of nutmeg, so I include it even though it is not called for in the recipe)

    ¼  cup of heavy cream (I use half and half)

    Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon, optional

    Directions:

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold running water until cool enough to handle. Peel the sweet potatoes and return to the warm pot.

    Add the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher or handheld electric mixer until smooth. (I use a ricer to mash the sweet potatoes, which gives them an extra smooth texture).

    This is the ricer that I use for the sweet potatoes.

    Stir in the cream. Transfer to a serving dish. If desired, sprinkle with orange zest. Serve hot. Enjoy!

    Teaching is not an easy job. It requires dedication and perseverance. It also requires support from our co-workers. Our colleagues become our work family. We end up spending a good portion of our waking hours with the people that we work with. I am grateful that I am a part of a school community that supports and nurtures each other.

    For the past two years, I have been blessed to work with an incredible group of teachers. Our administration made the decision to split the sixth grade into four teams, A,B,C, and D with each subject area represented (science, social studies, math, and literacy). I happen to work on Team A. Working on this team has proven to be an invaluable asset to me in my work. Last year was the first year that we collaborated together. I will admit that we were hesitant at first, but as we became more comfortable with each other, the workload became more manageable. For this process, I am extremely grateful!

    During this time of year, we often reflect on those things for which we are thankful. With my team members in mind, I am thankful for:

     

    Lesson planning together — sharing ideas to make lessons interesting, sharing resources to enhance instruction.

     

    Monthly lunches where we get to kick back, enjoy some good food, and laugh.



    Our ability to agree to disagree (respecting our differences).

    AND..

    • Having an ear to listen to my concerns or when I am having a bad day

    • Sharing joyous moments that connect us as “family”

    • Covering my classes during a bathroom run

    • Sharing healthy recipes

    So from my school family to yours, wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and that you take a moment to reflect on who you are thankful to have by your side at school as well!


    Thanksgiving Recipe to Share: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    (This recipe is from one of my favorite singers — Ms. Patti LaBelle. I did make a few slight changes for my family’s palate.)

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    Ingredients:

    5 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed

    ½ stick of unsalted butter (softened)

    ¼ cup of sugar

    Ground cinnamon to taste (this is one of my changes — my family loves cinnamon, so I add more than the suggested ¼ teaspoon)

    Nutmeg to taste ( another change — my family also likes the taste of nutmeg, so I include it even though it is not called for in the recipe)

    ¼  cup of heavy cream (I use half and half)

    Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon, optional

    Directions:

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold running water until cool enough to handle. Peel the sweet potatoes and return to the warm pot.

    Add the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher or handheld electric mixer until smooth. (I use a ricer to mash the sweet potatoes, which gives them an extra smooth texture).

    This is the ricer that I use for the sweet potatoes.

    Stir in the cream. Transfer to a serving dish. If desired, sprinkle with orange zest. Serve hot. Enjoy!

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