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Home » Blog » Teacher Support » Using Gratitude to Fight Burn Out

Using Gratitude to Fight Burn Out

SEL & Character, Teacher Support, Thanksgiving

Written by: Katie Palmer

Teacher and student burn out seems to be at an all time high right now. Our team has an idea to fight the burn out…focusing on the gratitude in your daily teaching life. Putting gratitude at the forefront of your mind can help the negative seem, well, less negative. Read on for our top tips in using gratitude to combat burnout.

Get Your Gratitude On

Before we proceed, note that any of these gratitude practices can be used to improve your personal life as well! However, this post will focus on finding gratitude during your busy, and perhaps overwhelming school days. We know that your teacher plates and schedules are already more than overflowing, so we have some quick and simple ideas for fitting in gratitude practice.

Journaling

Try taking a quick minute or two at the beginning and end of your school day to journal things you are grateful for at school. My lesson planner is in a binder. A few years ago, I added a gratitude journal to the back of the binder. On the days it fits into my schedule, I jot down a few notes before and after school about things I am grateful for that school day. This practice has allowed me to reflect positively on the school day and go home with a better attitude.

A printable teacher gratitude journal template

If this sounds like something you might want to incorporate into your school routine, check out the Lucky Little Learners gratitude journal!

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Discuss Gratitude

Once a week or so (or more as needed), take the time to sit your class down and discuss what you are all grateful for. This quick question during the morning meeting will leave you and your students feeling ready to tackle the day ahead.

A student writing about gratitude in their notebook

In fact, starting the school day off with discussions is a great way to build up your classroom community. Team Lucky Little Learners has been hard at work creating morning meeting discussion slides for the entire year, so you don't have to!

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Affirmations

Start and end your school day with positive affirmations. Speaking these aloud, or writing them down, will help you feel the truth in them. Example teacher gratitude affirmations:

“I am a passionate teacher who is doing their best.”

“My students can tell that I care.”

“We have come far from where we were last week.”

What affirmations would you add?

An affirmation station around a classroom mirror

Download the Affirmation Station

Picture It

As silly as it may sound, designate a small space in your classroom to hang up pictures that make you feel grateful. These could be pictures of your family, favorite places, or awesome memories in the classroom. When a stressful teaching moment has you feeling less than thankful, take a second to peek at your pictures.

A teacher has a picture wall in their classroom

Encourage students to bring in pictures of their favorite people and things to contribute to creating a calming and de-stressing area for the whole class.

A bulletin board featuring student work and pictures

Amplify Student Gratitude

We have discussed ways to improve teacher gratitude, but what about your students? Try these three activities to help students feel and share gratitude.

Pass Out Cards

Ask your students, “Who are you grateful for in this school?” Challenge them to think outside of the classroom! When they have decided on their person (or two or three people), have them color and write in a thank you card. They should write the reasons they are thankful for that person and hand deliver the card.

Printable food themed thank you card templates

Try these food themed thank you cards for a tasty touch.

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Thankful Lapbook

Students and teachers love creating lapbooks. Teachers love that the activity can be stretched out over a few days (while also practicing important skills!) Students simply love the chance to get artsy!

The Thankful Lapbook gives students plenty of time to think about all they have to be thankful for. It also makes an excellent project to showcase at conferences.

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Winter 2-Digit Addition and Subtraction Color by Number No Prep Printables

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3 digit addition and subtraction color by number sheets

Video Lessons

We all know students love short learning videos! With that information, we crafted these lessons on gratitude. Plus, no prep is needed on your part!

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Teach It!

If your students need a deeper dive into practicing gratitude, why not teach a full week of lessons about being grateful?

If you want more than a week of lessons, check out our social emotional curriculum. You'll have an entire unit on gratitude plus twelve months of character building lessons too!

A gratitude coloring sheet

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Take a Deeper Dive

Want to learn more about these tips to reignite your teaching passion and gratitude? Check out our Weekly Wednesday Video on the topic.

Will you be incorporating any of these gratitude practices into your school days? Or do you find your daily gratitude in different ways? Let us know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

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Hey there!  I’m Angie, owner of Lucky Little Learners. Our #1 goal is to support K-2 teachers.  We provide unlimited access to over 20,000 printables that are aligned to your standards.