Thanksgiving 2014: Teaching gratitude, modeling gratitude, and then actually being grateful ourselves for all that we have.

bear shot

Sometimes in the mélée of the holidays, we forget to be grateful. We forget to be grateful for…
– Our health.
– Our good fortune to be able to choose our education for our children.
– The privilege to work and play and learn in an environment as amazing as this one.
– Our warm car (instead of the bus) that gets us to the long, annoying grocery lines where we are able to buy our holiday meals.
– Our extended family visiting over the holidays. We get lost in the fretting of making everything “just so” for their visit, and though their presence can be potentially irksome, it also means we are not alone in our celebrations.
– The freedom to go to bed late and wake up early in our toasty and furnished homes with a roof over our heads.
Sometimes we forget to model authentic gratitude for our children. At this week’s faculty meeting, I challenged all our faculty and staff with the following: Amid the exams and report cards and visitors and concert preparations, let us show gratitude. No, let us cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Not much later, this appeared in my mailbox:

     This morning I ask only
     the blessing of the crayfish,
     the beatitude of the birds;
     to wear the skin of the bear
     in my songs;
     to work like a man (or woman) with my hands.

Joseph Bruchac, contemporary poet and storyteller of traditional Iroquois tales

My own gratitude?

For friendship and family and good health,
For this school and community,
For the incredible faculty and staff,
For our hard working students and their families,
For the philanthropic generosity of so many in our community.

So let’s wear the skin of the bear and show our gratitude and enjoy time with family.

And for some great tips on navigating the holidays with your children, try this:

Happy Thanksgiving!

About Kathleen McNamara Head's Up!

an educator in Independent Schools for over 28 years
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