Gratitude in the Classroom

Are you teaching your students to practice gratitude in the classroom?

December 12, 2020

What does your classroom look like? Are you working hard to build a classroom community with little to no response? Maybe you just haven’t thought about classroom community and expected it to happen naturally. Are you pushing the curriculum more and putting relationships on the back burner?

 

Relationship building is a KEY part of student success within the classroom. This year more than ever building relationships and establishing a healthy and safe classroom community is critical to student success. COVID has some of our students isolated to their homes, and forced to learn from behind a screen. Some students are loving it, some are forced into baby sitting and housekeeping duty all while trying to learn. Some are feeling lonely, isolated, and depressed.

 

One thing I take pride in is my classroom community. Daily, I check in with my students by having them complete a daily check in form. I always check in with my students who are struggling. One thing that is beneficial is implementing a gratitude practice. Have students take a moment to reflect on things they are grateful for in their lives. Even the smallest of things help students develop a mindset to seek the joy, which is beneficial to them now, and as they go into their adult lives.

 

The way I see it… My job is to do more than teach ELA. I want to help students become healthy, functioning adults in society. Part of accomplishing that is modeling healthy behaviors for students.

 

Check in with your students, ask how they are doing, help them find the good in the little things, and remember, they deal with emotions just like us, and often don’t have the same toolbox for dealing with those emotions.

 

Want to start small? Try implementing Thankful Thursday in your classroom. For older students, have them take out their phone or school issued device and either text or email someone they are thankful for and/or appreciate. This could me grown ups at home, a teacher in school, or one of their friends or family member. Younger students, or students without technology, this may look like a notecard with a sweet note, or drawing a picture for someone who makes you happy.

 

This activity doesn’t take very long, but gets students recognizing who they’re grateful for, and you bet it makes the day of the recipient of that message. Plus, if it is a weekly theme in your classroom, students begin recognizing the pattern and start thinking about who they can send a gratitude message to this week.