“Its been incredible. I think it is changing me more than anyone else. It changes your outlook.” Miss Junk, Grade 6J ECNS.
The beauty of a good school theme (Growing In Grace and Gratitude) is that it can make you notice things, that in today’s information-saturated world, might have slipped past. Perhaps that’s what happened when Miss Junk noticed something called 30 days of Gratitude on Pinterest. It was out of this noticing that she felt nudged to develop 20 Days of Gratitude devotions (a month of school days) for her 6th grade class and anyone else in Edmonton Christian Northeast. She started with the students thinking in general about what they were thankful for. From this activity, they created a bulletin board of their thankfulness. Each of the 20 days of gratitude that followed saw the students pondering a specific “gratitude question” and putting their responses in their gratitude journal. “The questions are just about ordinary things,” says Ms. Junk. Questions like:
What in nature are you grateful for?
What season are you grateful for?
What tradition are you grateful for?
What challenge are you grateful for?
The class used the the Day 10 question, “What memory are you grateful for?” to frame the school’s Thanksgiving Assembly, reminding all that our faith is based on our memory of God’s faithfulness.
It appears Miss Junk is not the only one being changed by this focus on growing in gratitude. “I think it is amazing that we can use different ways to show what we are grateful for. There were a whole bunch of different questions,” said Madi, a student in Grade 6.
But what will happen when the class finishes the month long focus on gratitude? Will Miss Junk and her students slowly become “unchanged?” Joseph, another Grade 6 student doesn’t think so, “After about the fifth day, I definitely noticed that I was seeing more things that I am thankful for. I think gratefulness will become a habit for me.”
Classmate, Dom agreed. In fact, she thinks that her grateful heart will invite others to join. “I definitely think it is a good thing to do and when 20 days are finished I will keep going and I will have my family do it as well.”
Growing in grace and gratitude. It’s what is happening to Miss Junk, Madi, Joseph, Dom and all the other ECNS classes and students who are doing the 20 Days of Gratitude.
Christ-centred education… challenging us ALL to actively play our role in God’s story.