July 22 – U

363/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Wow, only 3 more gratitude posts left including this one!!  When I started this journey a year ago, I was a little nervous as to if I would have 365 people to thank.  I didn’t want it to come down to posts such as thanking my mailman for the flyers he delivers in that they were the ones that led me on to some awesome deal!! ; )  Early on in these posts, I started hearing from friends that so and so had made “the list”.  I didn’t understand what that was until I was told that it was my “gratitude list”.  That put some pressure on me to say the least as there was now a “list”.  I didn’t want it to be a list and I didn’t want it to be some type of contest.  Then I heard that some people mentioned they were in the 80s and others were in the 200s!  I do have to make it clear that I haven’t had an order as to who I thank and thus whatever number gratitude post it was has no relation to ranking.  Most posts are the night before or a couple of days before.  Yes, I saved my dad for his birthday as I did with my children for theirs, my mom was first because well she is my mom but save for them and the final two gratitude posts, no one had a day or a number.  The list by the end of Sunday is far from complete.  I could thank another 365 people who got me to where I am today and this is what today’s gratitude post is about – to all of the people I didn’t name and there are hundreds of you that have impacted me!  So many former students, co-workers past and present, family members, inlaws, bosses, professors, fellow students, random strangers, neighbours past and present, friends, backhanded gratitudees (bullies and the like), service providers, celebrities etc, etc – just so many people who have made me who I am and to all of you un-named in this past year, you are part of this gratitude journey just because you were not personally mentioned here doesn’t mean you weren’t recognized by me.  To all the new people that will come in to my life, thanking you in advance as some of you will change and influence me in new ways.  Thank you to all of you who came along with me on this 365 day journey as well.  Your encouragement and support has gotten me to this end point.


May 2 – biz ed

282/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Have you ever downplayed anything about you?  I realized today that I have been for about 30+ years.  When I am asked what I teach, I rarely if ever mention my Business Education courses – Accounting, Keyboarding etc.  I almost always say Psychology and Marketing.  I reflected today and know exactly why – people often assume that given a Bachelors of Commerce degree in my background and my subject area, I must be intelligent but intelligent in the classic sense of the word.  I am far from that person but I totally relate to their assumptions in that I have/had the same notions about fellow Business teachers.  But today, at a Pro D meeting with my colleagues from the east-side schools from the Business Education arena, I realized that in fact we were all very interesting and did not typify the view one (namely me) has of such teachers;  old, archaic, stuck in their ways, curmudgeonly, lacking a sense of humour, focused, numbers oriented, Business is their life, robotic humans.  In fact all of us – ranging from close to retirement age down to freshly starting our careers, were lively and humourous, cracking jokes and making light of our job situations in times of declining enrolment.  None of us came off as the stereotypical Business Educator.  None of us were complaining.  All of us had personalities.  This reflecting got me to thinking about other Business Educators within the district and outside that I have worked with and yes, I can say that the majority do not fit the stereotype – yes, there are some who do but that’s what makes a stereotype enduring as there will always be people who fit it.  But for those of you outside the Business Educator box, so glad you bring that perspective to our career and broaden the definition of what it is to be a Business Teacher.  No, I’m not ready to start introducing myself as a Business teacher but I might be ready to add that I teach Accounting in addition to Psychology and Marketing 😉

April 15 – time of Grace

265/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  UBC is when I came out of my shell but I was also trying to figure out what type of shell I had been in as well.  I tried many looks – yes, I sported the asymmetrical hair with the funky patterned shirts and neon pants (total 80s guy).  I also tried on personalities but the true, overexcited, loud, fun person eventually surfaced.  During those UBC Commerce years – probably the most conservative of degrees I could have chosen – I met quite a few people and made friends with a few as people as well.  One of the people who was in my option of Marketing was Grace.  I don’t think we ever spoke as I had my own partners for projects and she had her own people.  We were in a couple of required classes together but other than that, she would have been like any other person in the degree – a fleeting memory.  However, two years later, I decided to change paths and get my Education degree.  I did my practicum at Charles Tupper in the Business department and who was a teacher there?   Grace!   She recognized me immediately and started talking to me and I will be honest, I had no clue who she was but feigned recognition.  I think she may have figured it out LOL but it was great having Grace there.  She gave me invaluable advice about teaching and especially about how to work with my practicum teacher sponsors (her co-workers).  At the end of my practicum, I didn’t really think I’d see her again but we kept in touch via email but fast forward two years and I got a long term sub gig at Britannia Secondary for who – yup, Grace!  She was involved in a car accident and I took over her classes pretty close to the start of the school year.  Of course, I had to talk to her almost weekly about the subjects and what I should be doing and that is when we started becoming friends.  I saw her at conferences and we started exchanging Christmas cards, shared child rearing stories and advice about life, immigrant parents – the list went on.  We made efforts to connect back in the day although it’s tougher now as both of us are busy with life.  Thank you Grace for being that mentor that I needed starting off my teaching career and for being a good friend over the years.  Here’s to reconnecting again.

March 20 – the taxman cometh

239/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  It’s that time of the year – oh how I wish I could say it was Christmas but no, it’s tax season.  I’ve spent the bulk of today gathering all the statements, slips, calculations and scanning them for my accountant.  Yes, my accountant.  People think that because I have a Business degree, I should be able to do my own taxes.  They also assume since I am a Business teacher, taxes should come second nature.  Well people, I majored in Marketing J  I took all of my electives in the “ologies” whereas my Commerce/Business compatriots took courses like History of Tax Law.  If I had done that, I could do not only my own taxes but also yours.  However, that is not the case so I go to my guy Dennis.  Because of a Facebook query, I discovered him about three or four years ago when I really needed to figure out how to claim my son’s sports, my daughter’s tuition and book credits, transfer income to my wife, deduct losses from a revenue generating rental – oh man, I’m already getting confused.  Yes, I have spent about 6 hours organizing things today but I’m sure I would spend 5 times that time figuring out all the deductions and calculations in order to arrive at how much each of us owes or is owed.  I’m so thankful to have Dennis do this for me because that’s his expertise and he has taken me on as a client just through a friend’s recommendation.  I also like the fact that I can communicate with him through email/text/pdf and get everything done with minimal effort on my part.  As I was told by my own Accounting teacher back in high school, death, a car accident and taxes are inevitable, it’s how big each of them will be.  Thank you Dennis for making the tax part a little less exhaustive and hopefully not so big  🙂

March 13 – debits to the left, credits to the right

232/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I’ve taught a lot of teenagers over my years – probably nearing 4500+ students. That’s a huge number now that I reflect on it. I have also been fortunate enough to teach adults at UBC for 3 years – probably about 150 during that time. That’s a lot students I’ve had influence on but as I’ve mentioned over these gratitude posts, there are several that also impacted me. At UBC, I taught the adult students in the Education program to become teachers. I got to know about 8-10 on a different level each year as I was fortunate enough to watch them teach in the classroom during their practicum. Once they finished the program, I kept in touch with many of them to see how they fared hoping all of them ended up with permanent teaching contracts joining myself in the awesome profession of teaching. One of those adult learners was Colin D. I not only taught him the required courses in the teacher education program, I was also his adviser during his practicum. This guy, as a student teacher, was amazing. I still remember some of his hooks to start off lessons and his knowledge and use of technology inside and outside of the classroom was amazing, You know when you have an awesome teacher? When they can make Accounting interesting!! He creates educational music videos – his one for Debits and Credits is used by many Business teachers – yes, myself being one (also inspiring me to have my students create their own business videos)! He also did so well on his practicum that he ended up co-authoring the Accounting textbook used by most high school teachers. If that’s not accomplishing something during your practicum, then I don’t know what a successful practicum is. Thanks Colin for giving me ideas and inspiration as I ended up being tasked with teaching Accounting upon my return to the high school environment. Your students are very fortunate to have you as their teacher but we in education are also very fortunate to have you as one of us. I look forward to seeing and hearing about what you come up with next!