Monday, November 26, 2018

COMPELLED: Week 12 - Gratitude

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In this 12th week of the 15-week series on characteristics of compelled educators, I'm excited to share one of my favorite authors and bloggers with you. Ann Voskamp was one of the first bloggers I followed. It's from her that I learned more about grace and gratitude. Her first book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, shows us the power of gratitude, reflection, and pause. (Her book is much like her blog style... poetic and flowing... almost like free writing at times, and choppy in other places. It's not an "easy" read, but it's well worth the effort and pause and space it forces us to create when reading it.)

What if... you kept a running list of the things for which you are grateful? Would you have 1,000 by the end of the school year?

What if... we asked our students to collaborate each day and record things for which they are grateful. How many gifts would there be on the list by the end of the year? One thousand? More?

“Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.” 
― Ann Voskamp

As educators, we not only understand the importance of practicing gratitude ourselves, but we also understand the importance of cultivating gratitude in our students. 

How can we cultivate an "attitude of gratitude" in ourselves and with our community of students?

Text    Ask students to send a Thank You Text to someone for whom they are grateful. (Educators: Get out those cell phones and model a positive use for digital devices!) 
#Gratefulstreak    For ____ number of days in a row, have students to answer the journal prompt, "What are you grateful for today?" Ask students to see how many days in a row they can keep their streak!  (Educators: When kids write, you write. Model persistence as well as gratitude.)
"Three Good Things"    Create a bulletin board titled "Three Good Things." Have students to write 3 things for which they are grateful on a sticky note and post on the bulletin board. (Educators: Be sure to include your 3 things on a sticky note right in the center so that students can find it easily!)
Write a Letter of Gratitude    Ask students to use letter writing skills to write a letter to someone for whom they have never adequately thanked. (Educators: Do this, too, and model gratitude for your students.)
Gratitude Walk   I recently read about Jon Gordon's Thank You Walks. This could be used in PE classes, during recess, or even encouraging older students to think of 3 things for which they are grateful during class change while they walk to their next classes. (Educators: Take a Gratitude Walk during your planning period, do a lap around the hallways before or after school, or try it at home.)


Want to make gratitude a habit the easy way? 

Connect expressing your gratitude with another daily task, such as brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, or cooking/eating dinner. 

If it's hard for you to carve out quiet time for yourself during the day, start expressing gratitude OUT LOUD while you are doing something that you already do during your day. 

Say 3 things you're grateful for out loud while you're doing your daily sit-ups, while you're driving to work, or while you're making your bed (or any other daily task.) 

Do this for 21 days in a row, then let me know how it's going. (If you miss a day, start back over at Day 1.) 

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The Compelled Educator @Jennifer_Hogan

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