Sunday, November 9, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude #9: Paying it Forward

Cynical as I am, I admit that November's TeachThought's blog challenge is having an effect. I feel gratitude. I have much more patience in class. With traffic. And with the problematic people in my life. Because I've committed to starting the blog post every morning, I get a jump start on a grateful heart. The simple act of listing, outlining, free writing, or chunking (practicing what I preach in the classroom!) sets the tone. 

Since the bloggers behind the Attitude of Gratitude challenge (The eLearning Buzz and Middle Management: A Teaching Journey) generously organized this project that feeds my heart, I'm compelled to pay that gratitude forward. 

I owe them and TeachThought an obligation of gratitude, what's known in Tagalog as utang na loob, a debt of the heart. Luckily, today's prompt encourages me to pay off that debt: "What is one way you could develop the Attitude of Gratitude at school or in your classroom?" 

Following  Beth Leidoff's lead, I will pay forward my gratitude by sharing genuine thanks with the folks who are the glue of my campus. We can all think of two or three people who hold the department or school together. I'll name check a few here: Rose, Norma, Larry, Raquel, and Zeidy. Sending them virtual blessings for making school a great place to be! 

Just as I do my best to acknowledge with clarity and specificity what students do well, I can find small ways to let the people who make my job possible and pleasant. I commit to sharing something that lets them know how they support learning in my class and how they brighten our campus community. 

I'm thinking of those little, random notes I'd get from students that recount something I did or said that touched them. I can do that. Doable.  

As for the classroom, I can use the writing warm-up, perhaps with a mentor text or two, for giving thanks. Easy enough. 

Can any one point me in the direction of poems or short pieces about gratitude? Or about paying it forward? Any grade level or medium would be appreciated - my students respond to practically anything with heart. 

Here's to a generous heart!