Gratitude! Good things! Affirmations! I want to help my 8th-grade students next year to put COVID-19 behind them and for us to move forward every single day rejoicing in what is positive in our lives and what we are thankful for. I want them to give thanks for the good things that are happening in their lives every day. Many studies have shown that people who practice giving gratitude daily and who "consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed" according to How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain. I think the best gift I can give my students next year is the gift of time to reflect on their gratitude daily, creating a habit that will hopefully last them all throughout high school (with our 5-year journals!) and for the rest of their lives.
By gifting my 8th-grade students these journals, you will be giving them the opportunity to change their mindset, build new positive habits, and improve their mental health far beyond the year that they are in my classroom.
There is no greater gift you can give my students than to allow them to reflect daily on their gratitude for the joys and the good things in their lives, no matter how small those things may be. Gratitude has so many benefits and we often don't teach teens to take the time to stop and reflect. I want my students to leave a record and legacy of positivity in their lives, and I think this is a meaningful way for them to start.
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