Gratitude = November

By: Rosemary Cummings, CATA State President

Gratitude. Yes, it seems cliche and I cultivated so many topics in my mind: Creative Virtual Lessons, Fun Virtual Meetings, Drive Through Distribution and so on. However, none of these topics seemed to resonate with me.  Knowing this article will hit your inbox in November, the month of Thanksgiving, I decided to go with what my heart was telling me, which was advocating for gratitude.

During these past eight months, many of our lives have become similar to a chapter from a fiction novel. Who would have predicted our fate? Despite all of this craziness, I believe we have many things to be thankful for.  For myself, it has been the time to focus on my family. As agriculture teachers, our family often takes a back seat in order for us to fulfill our passions. It has been a blessing to put my family’s priorities at the top of my to do list. The simple things such as cooking meals, checking homework and doing chores all without the rush of my next “work thing.” 

Most importantly, it has provided me with the opportunity to reflect upon what makes me happy.  Crazy I know…what makes us happy. If you have not yet pondered this very important question, you should.  Being an effective teacher, educator, and mentor must start from within. Knowing what makes us happy helps individuals recognize, and gain gratitude for, what we have.  

With all the extra time we have been given from this new no-travel schedule, I challenge you to think about those individuals, peer professionals, family members, friends, and staff members who have helped us to be our best selves. Take advantage of this extra time to pick up a pen and express your appreciation for them.  Life is short, times are uncertain, but you can make an impact in others’ lives by a simple note, card, or text.  Yes, I know my message is not magical or new, but it is important to appreciate others in our lives, and sometimes we need a simple reminder to do so.  

The greatest things we have in life are created by the simple things we do everyday. It is not hard, nor complex, yet it makes a profound difference in others’ lives. Pay it forward.

For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit


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