I Don’t Need a Root Canal | Hooray For Monday

Hooray for Monday is a weekly blog filled with questions, ideas, reflections, and actions we can all take to remodel the school experience for students. Prefer audio? Listen to the Hooray For Monday podcast! Available on your favorite platforms here.

November 27, 2023

By Aleta Margolis, Founder and President

With all that’s going on in the world it can be hard to find reasons to give thanks.

If you’ve experienced the Inspired Teaching Institute, you’ll remember an activity called “When the Opposite is Also True.” The key takeaway from this activity is that we can hold multiple truths, even conflicting truths, in our lives, and that the way we choose to frame events in our lives affects how we experience them.

Last week I spent two hours at the dentist having an old filling replaced. My dentist had prepared me for the possibility, the likelihood, that I would need a follow-up appointment with the endodontist to get a root canal. But it turned out the tooth was in better shape than we’d feared, and a crown would do the trick.

Hooray! No root canal!

For that, I am grateful.

It is true that my morning spent in the dentist’s chair was unpleasant. It is also true that that same experience sparked gratitude. As I heard my dentist’s voice resonate over the drill, explaining the tooth was stable, I felt gratitude because…

  • My tooth was ok.
  • All that brushing, flossing, and Waterpik-ing had paid off.
  • I was in good hands with a skilled and caring professional.
  • I remembered that sometimes things turn out better than expected.
  • Even with my jaw numb and the drill ringing in my brain, I had found a little joy.

For over three years, my colleagues and I have been doing our very best to find joy and share it with you, our Hooray For Monday community. And for 28 years -– through our in-person workshops, school partnerships, toolkits, and any other way our imaginations could conceive of -– we have been doing the same. And we will continue to use all our resources to center joy along with curiosity and wonder in the teaching process.

In this season of thanks and giving, I want to say thank you to the teachers, parents, students, school leaders, and community leaders who are part of the Inspired Teaching family. You participate in and contribute to our mission. You make us strong, just as we strive to make you strong.

There are many ways to give and receive support. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, a day when we have the opportunity to reflect on what we value, the organizations, causes, and movements that make a difference in our lives, and support those organizations, causes, and movements with financial donations. If you are able, we encourage you to make a financial donation to Center for Inspired Teaching, the organization that I founded in 1995 and that for 28 years has been committed to making school a place that is engaging and joyful for students and teachers alike.

We have a lot of joyful work ahead:

When you teach in a way that elevates wonder, curiosity, and student voice, you are supporting Inspired Teaching by helping us accomplish our mission. You are already part of the movement. Today I invite you to deepen your engagement with Inspired Teaching by making a donation.

You can donate tomorrow when you see our Giving Tuesday email in your inbox.

You can donate right now with this link.

Hooray For Monday will always be free to our teaching community. Our generous donors make this possible. So if you are able to make a donation to help Inspired Teaching continue and expand our work, we would be grateful. Any amount makes a difference, and means the world to us.

For those of you local to Washington, DC we have another way to give in December that comes with a gift for you. Join us for Inspired Breathing for Inspired Teaching at PureFire Yoga in Bethesda, MD on Sunday, December 17. We will lead this workshop in partnership with Catherine Dahlman, a neuromuscular massage therapist, Ayurvedic yoga specialist, and expert in bodywork and breathwork. All registration fees for this special workshop will be donated to our organization, and the session is being designed specifically for educators.

There’s much to look forward to and be thankful for in December: Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and, apparently, National Pie Day. Inspired Teaching has exciting professional development opportunities and Speak Truth sessions on the calendar. And I’m preemptively grateful for the installation of my permanent crown – hooray!

Wishing you many opportunities to find and create joy in unexpected places in the week ahead, and sharing my thanks for all you do to help Inspired Teaching thrive.

For additional insights, resources, and information on Inspired Teaching teacher and youth programming, subscribe to the Hooray For Monday newsletter!

Hooray For Monday is an award-winning weekly publication by Center for Inspired Teaching, an independent nonprofit organization that invests in and supports teachers. Inspired Teaching provides transformative, improvisation-based professional learning for teachers that is 100% engaging – intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Our mission is to create radical change in the school experience – away from compliance and toward authentic engagement.

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