burnout,  character building,  gratitude,  joy,  positive behaviors,  positive reinforcement,  social emotional,  social emotional skills

Finding Joy

I’ve been sharing my experience with burnout, and today I wanted to revisit a product that I created while feeling ALL of these feelings.  A common suggestion for staying present and building a little more positivity is to practice finding something to be grateful for each day.  If this works for adults, then it can certainly work for kids too – and it’s never too early to teach these kinds of coping skills.  That’s where “Joy in Everyday: Building Positive Thinking” comes from. 

In practicing identifying those things each day that brought me more joy, I realized that I needed a way to keep all of these thoughts organized so that I could hold myself accountable for doing this daily, and so that I could revisit them whenever I was struggling.  I also know that my brain doesn’t work the same as everyone else’s, so I came up with a couple of different ways to do all of this.  I put together calendar pages to note these moments of gratitude, as well as two different list formats. These can be used individually, or your class can work together to come up with something that went well each day. 

While writing things down is helpful for me, there are other formats that can definitely be more engaging for younger children.  I’ve included an interactive bulletin board that students, staff, and even families can add to over time, as well as mini books to spark some creativity.  One of my favorite pieces though are the joy notes. My students have always brought me so much joy, and these allow me to let them know – recognizing the things that they do each day that bring a smile to my face.  Sharing the impact they have is a great way to build their confidence and help them see their own positive qualities.  

I hope that this is something that can be a positive addition to your classroom too!

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