The fascinating challenge of gratitude

Teaching is hard!  The emotional and physical toll on teachers is exhausting and often demoralizing.

But sometimes, I wonder if my attitude needs a slight adjustment.  I work with 55 students daily, and most of them are great kids.  But when someone asks me how my day was, I almost always turn to the challenges. 
The kid who talked back. 
The boy who hummed, sang, and danced his way through class. 
The girl who wants so badly to have a boy like her. 
The boys who get annoyed with each other and show it by pushing and shoving.

I've recently been rereading a devotional, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  She talks about changing her outlook by the simple task of writing down all the places where she has received gifts.  Hers is a faith-based journey, a way to remind herself how much she is loved by God, but it doesn't have to be yours if that's not your belief.

For example, what would happen if we wrote down the places where we daily have something to be thankful for?    If we got ourselves a journal and put it on our desks so that we'd be reminded to write in it?

Would we find one thing we're grateful for each day?  Ten?  A hundred?  Would we find, as we wrote our gratitude that our mindset started to shift a little?  A lot?  Would we relax a little more, smile a little more, enjoy our students a little more?

Especially during these grey days of winter - we've had more rain than snow and hardly any blue skies - when we're all feeling cooped up.  I know I have to work harder to make my mood not match the weather.

Maybe this will help.  I think it's worth a try.

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