When we think about the balance of academic and social emotional learning, it is always interesting to look for the intersections where deep experience and fluency in one area informs the other. Gratitude is such a concept. The research on gratitude is lengthy, started initially to make a case for religious gratitude. However, over time, researchers discovered that the benefits of all gratitude informed mental health, physical health, longevity and perceived happiness. They also found it increased a student’s resilience and engagement with learning.
Gratitude is an emotion. Gratitude is a behavior. Gratitude is a value. At The Little School, gratitude is a vibrant part of our culture. We see it as students thank teachers for a thoughtful explanation that “really helped me understand!” We see it when kids collaborate and notice a compromise has been made in play, “Thank you for letting me be the tiger! I really wanted to be it!” We see it as students take time to write each other notes of appreciation in a first grade classroom or when a faculty meeting begins with shout-outs to colleagues for their care and support.
Gratitude is a disposition that allows the world to seem a little brighter because we can feel the abundance of possibility that is before us. The abundance of possibility at The Little School is framed by its extraordinary community. Each of you makes us a deeper, kinder place.
As we head into this break, we wanted to express our gratitude to you. Each day, you support children and the school with your interest, your humor, your engagement, your generosity, your ideas and your questions. The investment that we all bring to the work and play of learning and the power of community makes The Little School unique. Thank you for being a part of it. Have a wonderful week!