Teaching Tips

Recognizing the good

The other night my niece spent the night at her favorite aunt’s house. 🙂 As I was helping her get ready for bed, we went through her normal night routine: brush the teeth, use the restroom, put on pajamas, and read a book. The final routine before lights out is for my niece to share everything she is grateful for.   This nightly routine has occurred so many times there isn’t anything new to it, but I find that every time we list the gratitude, I feel uplifted.  To me this activity isn’t about the list; it’s about stopping the activity of a busy day and recognizing all the surrounding good.

Since this time of the semester is so busy with projects, papers, tests, and more, what better way to remind us all of the good that is occurring and unfolding.   As part of my end-of-the-semester routine, I have decided that I need to be giving more gratitude, and I think it is important to allow time for the students to do this as well.   There are many ways to capture this in class, and here are a few that you can implement:

  • Allow students to write on the boards all of the good that has occurred this semester
  • Have the students write letters to themselves reminding them what they learned this semester or what they want to remember from the course
  • Encourage a gratitude session with the entire class where students share what they’re grateful for in relation to the course and each other

By providing a moment to stop and reflect, we allow ourselves and our students to see all of the good and growth that has occurred over the semester.  Feel free to post any strategies you use!

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