Today I stood in front of my class and told each of my students why I was thankful for him/her. For once, I was the only one with dry eyes!
Then we had donuts and continued to read “The Crucible” and all soft emotions were forgotten!
I highly recommend doing this with your classes; the kids were touched and since I stated my thankfulness based on one of their personal attributes or character, it was way more meaningful for us all. Seriously, I’m surprised I didn’t cry (like they predicted I would 😂).
For example (we had many absent due to this being Thanksgiving week),
Student A, I’m thankful for your dedication. You are always on time, I can count on your to always do what you’re supposed to be doing.
Student B, I’m grateful for your passion. When you direct it constructively, the whole class benefits because its contagious!
Student C, I appreciate all the growth and changes you’ve made in the year and a half I’ve known you. I can always count on you to rise to every challenge and even voluntarily commit to doing something that scares you (like reading out loud!).
Student D, I am thankful that you are awake (everyone laughs) because when you’re awake and participating, you bring a lot of back story to our lessons. I love that you go home and research everything so that you can come to school with new information to share!
Student E, I am thankful for your sense of humor… and that you do the best voices when you read the parts of Abigail Williams and Giles Corey.
Student F, I am thankful for your heart. Every time I have to talk with your parents – and sometimes it’s not always positive – you take responsibility and make every effort to change for the better.
Student G, I also appreciate all the growth that you have shown in the past year and a half. I love that you now bring me all of your assignments that you get A’s on.
Student H, I am thankful for your passion, too. I know it was not easy for you to move to this district in October, but you’ve joined in with your whole heart and no one would ever know that we haven’t known each other for years!
Student I, I am thankful for you being awake, too, and your willingness to keep trying and asking questions, even though it is hard.
Student J (one of the seniors in my sophomore class), I am thankful the experience you bring to the classroom. You are a leader and you do not hesitate to help your classmates and guide them to make better decisions. I appreciate your honesty in admitting that you got here the hard way.