It's the season for gratitude

It is that time of year when we start to plan for the holidays. We are decorating our homes, buying gifts, and planning gatherings of family and friends. This year, however, comes with a glitch. The coronavirus has become a part of our lives.

So what do we do? Do we wallow in despair about what we’re missing? Or do we find a way to be grateful for what we have? I am choosing the second option.  

As teachers, we still have our jobs. Yes, they look different from a year ago, and the job has become exponentially challenging. Some teachers are working in the school buildings, meeting with their students both in-person and virtually, while some are working from home, teaching their students in a completely virtual setting. 

Cleveland Heights-University Heights teachers, along with teachers throughout the country, have stepped up during the pandemic to make learning work for their students as best they can.  

We struggle with the day-to-day operations, but at the end of every workday and workweek, we are grateful for the opportunity to teach our amazing students who show us what they can do in the face of adversity.

The holidays will look different for my family. My one-year-old child may not see Santa this year. My sister and niece will not visit because they live in a state that has Ohio on the COVID-19 watch list. 

But that’s not the focus. The focus is on what I do have, and that is my beautiful family. Santa will still come to my house this year. Dinner will still be served. After the holiday season, the countdown to spring begins. We will have a new president, and possibly a coronavirus vaccine, and the expectation of warmer days.  

No matter what your holidays look like this year, find the joy in what you have—the small moments that become precious memories. My hope is that you not only find a way to celebrate what you have, but also give thanks to those who work so hard to make our lives safer. We will come through this time as a community, and we will emerge stronger.


Karen Rego

Karen Rego has taught grades K–8 in the CH-UH district, and currently provides math and language support at Monticello Middle School. She is the president of Cleveland Heights Teachers Union.

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 9:16 AM, 12.01.2020