One of my personal resolutions for 2016 is to cultivate my gratitude. Generally, I am a doer. I power through to do lists like my life depends on them (because it basically does! You understand, you are a teacher too). I appreciate this about myself, but the downfall is that I often find myself caught up in the stress of tasks, resenting anything that obstructs my flow instead of focusing on being grateful for all the things that aid me on my teaching journey. So here is my plan for becoming a more grateful person in general and teacher in specific:
Starting a Gratitude Journal for Teachers:
A gratitude journal is simple. Everyday, write down 2-3 things that you are grateful for. As you write them down each day, take a second to scan the whole list and be mindful of the positives. Let them feel larger than the negatives that are threaten to bring us down. Below are some of my gratitudes this week. Some are trivial, some are important, but all are things that make me smile.
Starting a Gratitude Journal with Students:
Although, I don't have any immediate plans to include students in this gratitude journey, I can imagine how beneficial this exercise would be with students also! Click here for a blog post detailing multiple ways to bring this type of reflection straight to students. I don't think I have time for this in my English curriculum at the moment, but I would do it in a hot second if I had a homeroom period!
The Benefits of Gratitude:
All this gratitude is more than just a nice idea. It is also a means to help create successful students. Check out this TED talk from Kerry Howells about how thanks awakens thinking in our learners.
How do you practice gratitude? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!