November is the month of gratitude. We have an entire day dedicated to sitting around a table with friends and family and actually telling each other what we are grateful for. Forget about the food coma that comes afterwards, and the rush to head out to the Best Buy line, that five minutes around the table is one of the best parts of my year and something we should all be doing more than once.
So that’s gotten me to thinking about how we could jam this once yearly tradition in our own classrooms. What if we took 5 minutes at the end of class every Friday to just share with each other something we are grateful for or appreciative of? It could be related to something in class or not. Think of the possibilities. “I’m grateful you didn’t give us a lot of homework this week.” “I appreciate that Johnny helped me pick up my papers when they fell out of my binder.” “I’m grateful that I made it to the front of the lunch line yesterday.” Whatever it is, teaching students to take a minute out of their lives and stop and show appreciation for something could be a powerful mind shift for them, especially in these times, where our students are bombarded with negativity.
So I challenge you to take this gratitude challenge. Try it once and see what happens. And don’t forget to let me know.