Why teachers should help lead a thankful revolution

I've been thinking about the 19 firefighters in Arizona who died unexpectedly with the sudden turn of a fire. I've also been thinking of the teachers who gave their lives protecting children from gunmen and tornadoes this year. I've even been thinking about the janitors who quietly do their jobs in our school – do you know that if they scrimped on their job when no one was looking – we could literally have outbreaks of disease among our precious children?

How can we help promote gratitude and active thankfulness among this generation?

I just wonder what we as teachers can do to help promote a grateful generation. How can we help kids know the importance of saying “thank you” to and to be glad for what they have?

This is something I want to be more of what I do this year at school.

Sure, I've got standards to meet and a curriculum to accomplish, but it is kind of like this.

If I focus on making sure my children keep their room clean while forgetting my relationship with my children – they might have a perfectly clean room but have no kind of relationship with me. We have tasks and relationships to balance. The relationship is vitally important. There's a human side to every task. When we forget the humans, their task becomes almost irrelevant. (Ahem, overtesting…)

Thankfulness as a habit

If teachers aren't thanked, perhaps it is because we don't help kids see and thank others. I'm not proposing we do this so that suddenly people can acknowledge that we are a noble calling (as they should, by the way).

I am proposing that we help our children tell others that they matter and thank them for their work because it is something we must do. When we acknowledge the sacrifices of others, we are more sensitive to notice it everywhere we see it.

A self centered generation will be an unhappy one

The unhappiest people I know think only of their own happiness. An unhappy generation will be a self centered one. Kids are self centered by nature -it is pretty much how we are born. As I've matured and begun to see the value in helping others with my own life, I've grown in joy and fulfillment.

Because one day tragedy will strike every community – it does. And communities that can live with the peace of mind that they've thanked the heroes among them will rest much easier on this.

Please share your ideas and links

How can we thank our law enforcement, EMTs, and all of those people who serve us every day? I'm looking for all kinds of ideas beyond having them come and sit at an assembly and taking food (I think they like the second one the most, from what I've heard.) What can we do to really shower and show gratitude to the heroes among us?

If you've done something special, please write about it on your own blog and put the link in the comments below so that those of us gathering ideas can learn from you! Thank you.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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