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High School Teachers Give Thanks

High school teachers are thankful for students, colleagues, and coffee.

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What are teachers thankful for? Creative students ... and coffee.
What are teachers thankful for? Creative students ... and coffee.

Teaching high school students can be a thankless job sometimes.

High stress and low pay prompt many teachers to leave the profession before they have a chance to gain their footing. Those who stick around may struggle with limited resources, unsupportive leadership, and disengaged parents.

[Discover why teens learn better with engaged parents.]

But the life of a teacher isn't all uphill battles and budget cuts, and many celebrate small victories in their classrooms every day. So we asked high school teachers a simple question via E-mail, Twitter, and other social platforms: "What are you thankful for this year?"

Here is what they had to say:

"I am thankful for the opportunity to work with amazing young adults and help them learn how to be fit and healthy for life. I am thankful to be able to work with my students from ages 11 to 18 and see the positive impact both the program and [I] have played in their lives."

– Andrea McCarthy, physical education teacher at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy in Colorado

"I [am] most thankful for students that are willing to take risks, my colleagues who have welcomed and supported all of my efforts, and the Juilliard Jazz Summer 2013 Workshop for joining Oxbridge Academy in our mission to provide a challenging and dynamic education."

– Cleve Maloon, director of music education at Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches, a private college preparatory high school in Florida

"I am thankful for all of the New Hope graduates who came back to visit over holiday break. I am lucky enough as a 12th grade teacher to see the results of our hard work come back to share their success year after year."

– Sherri Weaver, English teacher at New Hope Academy Charter School in Pennsylvania

"I'm thankful this year for having so many students thoroughly engaged in the world and doing so many admirable things. I've got a wonderful junior involved in organic farming and farmers' markets and cooking; she's revolutionized the way her family eats … Every day, I'm grateful to know these young people who are pursuing their dreams and enriching the world."

– Melissa Hart, English and creative writing teacher at Laurel Springs School, an online high school based in California, and adjunct professor at University of Oregon

"I am thankful that I get to do what I love each and every day of my job. It is never boring and never the same thing day to day. I grew up the son of two teachers. The example my parents provided me was the greatest inspiration I could ever ask for as a future teacher."

– Norman Morgan, robotics teacher at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas

"As a language teacher I am thankful for students who actually make and use flashcards to study their vocab. As a culture teacher I am thankful for students who keep an open mind and genuinely want to learn about other cultures. As a teacher in general I am thankful for mass amounts of coffee!"

– Terry Wood, chairwoman of the foreign languages department at St. Mary's Ryken High School, a Catholic school in Maryland

Have something of interest to share? Send your news to us at highschoolnotes@usnews.com.