Teachers want a classroom that promotes a safe and enjoyable learning atmosphere for their students, don’t they? After all, we spend more time with the people in our classroom than with our own families or friends … isn’t that so? So what then is the secret to teaching gratitude in the classroom?
What is the secret that can help you achieve this? The answer may surprise you because it involves important values like gratitude.
We live in a world of grateful as well as ungrateful people.
The facts are that many children grow up in a home where gratitude isn’t shown towards one another. Since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, some of your students have never learned simple manners like saying “please” or “thank you”.
Unintentionally, others were taught to focus on the things they DO NOT have instead of the blessings they do enjoy. This impacts your classroom management as well as the cooperation you receive in classroom activities.
The science behind gratitude
Gratitude is one of those hot topics in the news right now. However, before you dismiss this as mumbo-jumbo, you owe it to yourself to see the science behind this. Your students and the school community will thank you later.
So what do the scientists from the science center say?
A group of people were asked to keep a gratitude journal for a few weeks. This is what they found.
- The people in the gratitude group felt better about their lives and were more optimistic about the future than those in the control group.
- They felt up to 25 percent happier.
- Fewer health complains and sickness reported.
- They exercised more.
- The grateful people slept better at night and were more alert during the day.
- They enjoyed giving to help others. (Learn how our school holiday boutique can help your students learn the joy of giving gifts to their family.)
- Finally, they got along with people better and showed an interest in emotionally supporting others more.
Can you see how this secret to teaching gratitude in the classroom will help your students?
How to use the secret to teaching gratitude in the classroom
Here is the best part.
Your class can enjoy these benefits in as little as 5 minutes a day by having your students write down the things they are grateful for.
How does this work?
Here are a few simple questions to get started with their gratitude journal:
- First, what 3 things or people am I grateful for today? Have them write the answers down in complete sentences and explain why they are grateful. Next, have them EXPERIENCE those grateful feelings.
- In addition, what did I give today to help someone else feel grateful?
- Finally, what would make tomorrow amazing?
Can you see yourself applying these teaching strategies?
Imagine including this in your lesson plans and assigning this as a creative writing assignment as part of their homework everyday. We encourage them to do this in the evening before they go to sleep. By teaching them this life long habit, you are making a difference in this child’s life.
Try this yourself first
In conclusion, we hope you enjoyed learning the secret to teaching gratitude in the classroom. Unless you have made this a habit already, than this is only a theory for you.
Why not try this for 30 days? You owe it to your professional development to prove this to yourself. Notice how it makes you feel. Can you see yourself feeling better in 30 days? Why not start tonight? Your students will thank you as you teach your classroom with gratitude.