November is the month that our schools focus on teaching the importance of practicing gratitude. Walk the halls of any school and you will see bulletin boards full of student work. Handprint turkeys, colors of fall foliage, and expressions of gratitude are commonplace this time of year. Many school entryways are filled with items for various food and toy drives. This models the importance being appreciative of what you have and sharing with those less fortunate.
While we walk around our schools and witness how our educators are instilling this important value, we should remember to take the time to bring those feelings of gratitude home with us. This month can bring heightened anxiety as we think about the upcoming holiday costs, family dynamics, and dinner logistics. We also may be dealing with unexpected expenses of car issues or the furnace going out or medical bills. It is during these times that it can be difficult to remember to breathe deeply and practice gratitude.
Research shows that there are numerous positive effects of being grateful, such as a decrease in anxiety and depression as well as an increase in brain power. Additionally, expressing gratitude builds stronger relationships in the workplace and at home. These are excellent reasons to approach each day with a grateful perspective.
Personally, I’m thankful for all our schools and how they teach our students more than academics. Our schools teach our students important values, and as adults we need to remember to model these values for our children. To all the educators who have devoted their professional lives to creating great schools and for educating the whole child, know that we are tremendously grateful for everything that you do.