This year, I have two Native American students in my class. One is Hopi, and the other is Navajo. They are the sweetest, quietest students I’ve ever had. (I realize that many of the Mexican-American students also have Native heritage as well, but unfortunately, for most, it’s either been entirely repressed or literally forgotten.) While I’ve done my best to introduce more Native writers into my curriculum, I’m kicking myself because I didn’t plan an actual Thanksgiving holiday lesson that would highlight the achievements and importance of Native Americans in U.S history and point out the struggles Natives still face.
Even if I missed a golden opportunity, I’m thankful that these students are in my class, that their families survived a genocide, and that their families will continue to grow and prosper.
My student of Hopi descent wrote me the note above saying he was thankful for me, too. I guess we’re even.
What are you thankful for?