Today I am grateful for the 10 years of teaching I got to do while in the States.
I'm often sad that I'll no longer be able to teach Limudei Kodesh (Judaic studies) here since a) my Hebrew is not good enough, b) even if it were, I'm just culturally not Israeli enough and c) I can barely keep my life together as it is, imagine having to leave the house every day for an actual honest to goodness $6 an hour. No thanks.
If you know me personally, you know how much I loved teaching. And it's hard to not be able to do something you love. Yes, I could teach in a seminary or other English venue, but it wouldn't be the same. I love Kodesh subjects, and I have a certain affinity for 3rd graders, and I miss them. But this post is about being thankful.
Today I'm thankful for those years because I really got to get up every morning and do what I enjoy doing. Lately, I'm starting to see other benefits. I'm grateful because I can actually sit and do homework with my kids. I can shock and surprise them while they are struggling over a Rashi and I can yell it out by heart from the kitchen. I can make them smile as I explain something in a clear and easy way, and they suddenly "get" it. They love that when we do Parsha questions at the table I can share the most obscure midrashim (we had fun with the Pheonix today during Parshas Noach).
So, while I miss being in the classroom, I'm so, SO grateful for my years there and for having a dream job from which I'm still reaping the benefits. Besides, I'm pretty sure I have a cute 3rd grader around here somewhere...