Thanksgiving: A Shout-Out to My Students

Didn’t we just start the semester…like last week? It sure feels like it. Yet here we are but just a few days from Thanksgiving…and racing through the grocery store aisles to get that last can of sweet potatoes to make that specialty dish that has been around as long as the Pilgrims.

Photo by Salvatore Vuono | courtesy of
Photo by Salvatore Vuono | courtesy of

And though Jack Frost is beginning to nip at my nose reminding me of ungraded assignments, I love this time of year. I am grateful for the amazing blessings in my life as well as a few days of respite and time with those I love hanging around…and eating some amazing cooking. But, as an educator, I have a slightly different post for today…and it revolves around my students.

At my university of employment, we have only two days of classes this week and then the campus empties in record time as students scatter to the homes of their family and friends. Simple agendas: sleep, eat, more sleeping, and more eating. Refuel for that sprint to final exam week!

And we as teachers need these next days just to regroup, re-calibrate, and hopefully be restored for that last push as we stagger across the finish line to those glorious days called “Christmas break.” Does any phrase have a sweeter aroma for a teacher at this time of year?

But before everyone scatters both far and near, I just want to give a shout-out to my students and say “thank you.” I know my students are using up brain cells rapidly and it seems like more “prayer time” is going on in classes right now than any other time of the semester – tiredness has set in.

But amid the daily grind, my students, my “peeps,” are the highlight of my day. They are crazy at times, thoughtful, humorous, insightful, but most of all…they are real. And it is that real-ness, that transparency, that honesty, that challenges me to continue to invest into them because, quite truthfully, they are investing into me.

I have no doubt that this group will change the world with the Gospel in a more impacting manner than when I was their age. And it is satisfying to know that I played a part, albeit small, in their education and hopefully gave them a few things to think about differently than they might have otherwise.

So to my kiddos in the classroom, thank you. I am challenged and changed by your lives and am blessed to be a teacher to each of you. May you one day have as much fun in the classroom and enjoyment of your students as I do. Happy Thanksgiving…now get some rest so you can complete my class projects on time!


9 thoughts on “Thanksgiving: A Shout-Out to My Students

  1. Thanks for this post! I appreciate you!
    I will be certain to let my students know how many ways they bless me just as you’ve shared here. My kids are awesome and often ask questions that make me think as they are processing things themselves. That’s the way we all are going to grow. Many are growing in the Lord while others do not yet know Him. But all are a blessing to me!

  2. Thanks for the wishes, Dr. Goyak!
    I’d like to say thanks to you for your investment in this one student. I know that your example in and out of the class has shaped me as a future instructor. Thanks for being real and for listening to all our whining in class, but still pushing us to keep doing our best.
    And… I’m done with all your class projects already. YES! 🙂

    • Thanks for the humbling comments, Monica. I have no doubt that you will one day impact your own classroom in awesome ways. I know you have that passion within – I see it as a student – and I am excited for what God has for you in the future. Thanks so much for posting!

  3. Dr. Goyak, reading this post reminded me of the “good ol’ days” in your class, all two years ago. I want to say a thank-you to you. Your teaching has inspired me to become a better teacher and a better follower of Christ, and as I pursue my master’s, I look back at what you have taught us as source material for my graduate work. Thank you, Dr. Goyak!

  4. You brought a smile to my face today, Lexie. Thank you. Those were good days in class together. That was a very spirited class!

    Your passion about teaching is exciting to me. You “have the package” of what it takes to be a great influencer in the classroom. Not everyone gets it who went through the education program but you were one who did.

    Best wishes to you on your master’s degree! Love hearing that. That will stretch you a lot. How far along are you?

    Great hearing from you Lexie. Fun days to reflect back on. Don’t let that flame die out. Kids need you.

    • Thanks, Dr. Goyak! So far, I’m in my second semester. After this semester, I’ll have four more semesters left, (fall, spring, and summer semesters.) It’s been a challenge, but it’s been great to work through and has been stretching.

  5. Thanks. I have been enjoying the program. I’m studying at Summit University. It’s a bit different from Northland, but there are enough similarities as well. Though, all of my classes are online, which has been a learning curve for me as I haven’t had online classes before. But I’m starting to get the hang of how things work.

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