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Think about this statement for a moment:

You’ve survived 100 percent of your bad days. 

As teachers, we all encounter challenging days. You might be having one right now as you read this. (If that’s the case, we hope it turns around ASAP!) However, one thing remains true:

Gratitude changes everything. 

Gratitude can change your outlook during those challenging moments, giving you space to breathe and focus on the positive things God is doing in and through you.

Gratitude can also help your students navigate challenging moments. Allowing them time to practice gratitude is an effective way to promote happiness. It increases student engagement and decreases negative behavior.

Students learn to identify feelings, regulate emotions, and build resilience as they implement new gratitude practices. Being thankful helps them maintain healthy relationships and learn how to manage stressful situations. These critical skills are all a part of the social and emotional learning (SEL) students need to thrive inside and outside the classroom!

Whether a student’s day is at its lowest or they are experiencing the highlight of their day, choosing an attitude of gratitude can turn things around, redirecting their hearts and minds.

God designed you and your students to live with a grateful outlook.

As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” But gratitude not only impacts you and your students spiritually, it also impacts you physically, releasing feel-good hormones in your brains. (And we all need that!)

So, are you ready to jump in? Here are three ways to implement a gratitude practice in your classroom that helps you increase student engagement and decrease negative behavior!

Gratitude Journals: Whether they are 5-year-olds or 15-year-olds, students will benefit from writing down what they are grateful for. Your students can begin each class by practicing gratitude. Have them write down three people, places, or things they are grateful for. Once a week, go around the room and have students share from their journals if they feel comfortable doing so.

Mindful Minute: Teaching mindfulness in the classroom provides children with the tools they need to create a calming emotion. They can use these techniques to regulate their emotions in challenging situations. Gratitude allows students the opportunity to clear their minds and connect with God. And here is the best part — it just takes one minute!

Scripture Connection: Allow students to write and illustrate a Bible verse that inspires them to be grateful. Give them time to reflect on the verse with prayers of thanksgiving. Here are some verses to start with: Psalm 107:8-9, 1 Samuel 12:24, Psalm 9:1-2. 

It’s simple. GRATITUDE CHANGES EVERYTHING! Try implementing one of the gratitude practices above and watch the transformation of your classroom! You will not only survive, you will begin to thrive!

Want to know more about why a grateful heart is the best place to start in the classroom? We can show you how we create a habit of gratitude in our K-5 biblically-immersed SEL program. Reach out to us for more information on Generous Students!

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