They are kind and motivated. They come from all different backgrounds. I have seen them grow tremendously over this last year while they continue to learn the true definition of resilience and perseverance. More importantly, I have gotten to know them in a way that I never thought possible had I not introduced them to Gratitude Journaling.
I saw students on zoom with blank stares. I saw students with little to no emotion. These students who were once filled with life had changed. I feared I would never really get to know them, and desperately wanted to. One day I told them that I was going through a really difficult time and decided something had to change. I shared that I bought myself a gratitude journal and started writing one thing each day that I was grateful for. At first, it was painfully hard to do. But I explained that it got easier and eventually I looked forward to writing my entries.
It was that day that I encouraged each student to start a Gratitude Journal in Google Slides.
At first, I was getting one word entries. Fast forward 6 months later and these kids are writing paragraphs! PARAGRAPHS about what they are grateful for. I have 289 students. 275 are journaling ALL voluntarily. I read each and every gratitude entry. I respond to students...I send some of their entries to their parents to brighten their day, and others to teachers they have written about. It has been a game changer! I would like to give my graduating seniors a gratitude journal in hopes that they will continue to journal.
"I'm grateful for you, Mrs Kelly. You are so inspirational and kind hearted. You made me realize that there is a lot more to life than trying to get by. You make me wanna give and support strangers. Thank you for giving me a place to write about the good that happens throughout the week. It forces me to see the brighter side. Looking past the negative and finding the good in the smallest things".
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