Why is Gratitude Important?


We all talk about the importance of gratitude, but what does it mean to be grateful?

Gratitude in its simplicity is the most profound thing that you can teach.


Gratitude is important because it builds, empathy, character, courage, strength, and leadership.  It helps students learn early on the importance of self-awareness.  When a child is grateful, they begin to understand what it means to be self-aware and the importance of self-care. Gratitude knows no boundaries and being grateful for the little things as well as the bigger things in their lives sets the tone for important life skills later on.


The value of gratitude comes down to this: JOY.  It’s the ability to recognize the happy moments throughout their day and their life.  Through gratitude, they are building their moral compass, and a foundation to be a more loving, tolerant, and kinder person who respects themselves, others, and the environment.



Why Should Gratitude Be Part Of Daily Practice In The Classroom?


Covid changed everything; let’s face it, students have been dealing with the stressors such as bullying, non-acceptance, school violence, school shootings, and lockdowns, way before they had to deal with the pandemic.  They are the generation of resilience and adaptability.  No generation has had to deal with the uncertainty and fear caused by the pandemic like this generation had to. They also learned firsthand, what it means to be grateful.



Gratitude comes from that place deep within yourself.


So How Do You Teach Gratitude?


That’s easy, just do it, and before you know it, your students will learn about the importance of gratitude while learning how to build their self-awareness toolkit.  Gratitude comes from that place deep within yourself.  Don’t get hung up on teaching it.   As teachers we get caught up in the implementation of teaching something new — let gratitude guide you.  Teaching gratitude doesn’t require much and that’s the beauty of it.  You can teach it during snack time when the kids need a break, when the class meditates, or start a Gratitude jar.


There is no wrong or right way to teach gratitude.  Do what feels comfortable for you.  Maybe start by saying to your kids, “You know what I’m grateful for today? I’m grateful for all of you and how you always try your best.”  “What are you grateful for today?”  There is no judgment attached to what we are grateful for.  If one of your students is grateful for his new video game, that’s okay.  With continued practice, you will notice something shift and gratitude will develop into a deeper meaning for them.


You are creating value in your classroom through this experience of self-awareness and building community.  So just be in the moment.  If one of your students asks what gratitude is, seize the opportunity to share that gratitude is an appreciation for what they have in their lives. Let it evolve.  Encourage your students to write down one thing they are grateful for on a piece of paper and place it in the Gratitude jar.  Make it part of your daily or weekly practice to read the papers from the Gratitude jar.  I’m sure many of those papers from the Gratitude jar are going to say how grateful your students are for you  — and isn't that a beautiful thing?


What Does Gratitude Teach Us?


That's an easy question to answer, and it's incredibly profound in its simplicity. In gratitude, we learn that what we have is enough and that accumulating more doesn't necessarily lead to happiness and fulfillment.


The lesson of gratitude is to appreciate what we have. It is a reminder that there is enough for me and everyone else since we all deserve a good life. It promotes the concept that the world does not revolve around me, that we are all part of something greater than ourselves, and that giving thanks is at the heart of making a difference.