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Thankful Thinking

Posted Date: 05/14/2021

Thankful Thinking

As you know, the Pampa ISD partnered with numerous stakeholders last spring to articulate the competencies and skills that we collectively desire for our students to possess when they leave our classrooms and move onto the next phase of life in college, a career, or the military.  One of the competencies discussed by the group was the need to be a contributing citizen who understands and values the importance of civic engagement and serving others in the local and global community.  As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the importance of instilling a mindset of gratefulness and thankfulness in our students. Possessing the skillset of thankful thinking is a prerequisite to becoming a contributing citizen who recognizes the need in others and is willing to stand in the gap and serve. 


As with most profound learning, our students soak up much more of what we DO than what we SAY.  They learn from observing the adults in their lives and from watching us as we give, serve, show compassion to others, or exhibit selfless acts of kindness.  Of course we have curriculum and take extra effort to explicitly teach and discuss positive character traits, kindness, and even servant leadership in multiple activities and classrooms in our district.  However, I am compelled to remind us all that what the children really learn and what they will most likely remember after they get out of school will be HOW we acted as adults more so than the curriculum in which they were exposed.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  Yes, we do teach how to be a good contributing citizen daily ---as we should.  But I truly believe that the classroom learning will only get them so far without excellent real-word examples in their daily lives.  They have these examples of what to do and unfortunately what Not to do in ALL of us-- teachers, directors, coaches, administrators, parents, family, friends, preachers, bosses, etc.   Sadly, in the media today, our students are exposed to so much that is opposite of what we desire.  Regardless of your political views, it is impossible not to see that the adults in our world are NOT exhibiting the THANKFUL THINKING we want and need from the next generation.


So, what are we to do?  I am going to practice what I preach and take extra effort to model THANKFUL THINKING, practice giving, and spend more time serving.  Can you imagine what our schools would be like, what our community would feel like if all of the adults demonstrated thankful thinking and serving others as contributing citizens?  I have lived in Pampa, Texas for twenty years and have been so blessed to know some of the most selfless people on the planet who live right here in our beautiful community.  We have amazing people who model thankful thinking every day.  We have amazing teachers and staff who model selfless service every day.  And we have amazing students who inspire us with their incredible capacity to love, to forgive, and to share.  Although we will always have work to do as a district, as a community, and as humans---- I am THANKFUL to live and work in Pampa where I truly believe we are teaching and modeling citizenship and demonstrating a mindset of thankful thinking –every day.    On behalf of the Pampa Independent School District I want to wish you and yours a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving.  Thank you, Pampa, for who you are and how you are.  I am thankful for you. 


Tanya Larkin



Published on 11/14/2018

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