A short word on Gratitude

“Thanks for the lesson, Miss” is a sentence that often rings sweet to my ears. It amazes me that teenagers manage to find and show gratitude within the institution that they readily file so many complaints against. It’s wonderful that even though my class has challenged them, not allowed them to be lazy, ‘forced’ them to think, and insisted on attention to details, some of them are actually grateful, and it’s not necessarily the top students!

One student, in particular, is definitely struggling this year. Struggling academically, personally, and socially and yet without fail, after every lesson, remarks, “Thanks for the lesson, Miss” and will often add, “I really learned a lot” , “That was really good”, “That was really interesting” or “I finally understand now”. It is so sweet and it touches my heart every time.

Even though they are expected to clean up, they are thankful!

The second year IB biology students are in such a stressful time right now and the pressure from my class is mounting as we collect data and prepare to submit their internal assessments to the IB.  Despite the intensity of our classes and the volumes of workload, these students depart from my classroom with a ripple of “thank-you” exclamations rippling back to me. It is a beautiful way to end my day.

Being grateful is not part of the IB Learner profile (IB learners strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled) so we’re probably not addressing it at school; at least I’m not!

Parents, find comfort in knowing that lessons you teach your children at home are, indeed, being received and acted upon! Today I’m feeling thankful for grateful students and the parents who have set examples of gratitude and who have taught their children to be grateful. Thank you, students and parents!

My home country has been celebrating “Thanksgiving”, this past weekend, a holiday focused on family, feasting, and feeling grateful. Let’s carry the spirit of gratitude with us throughout the year, searching daily for things to be grateful for. If teenagers can do it during school, a place that, in their minds, on occasion “oppresses and limits them”, then we certainly can thankful for something each day of our lives, right?