Teacher Mindset: How to Maintain an #AttitudeofGratitude During the Holidays in your Chaotic Classroom

A few years ago I purchased a planner that included a spot to write a weekly “hashtag” as a sort of motto for the week. Over the years, I have continued this practice and for the last several weeks, that weekly inspirational hashtag has been #attitudeofgratitude. With so much to be concerned about in 2020, finding that balance between gratitude and worry has been challenging. Any amount of thankfulness I reflect upon is more than zero moments of gratitude, which improves my outlook on all aspects of my life.

In my first year as TPT seller and creator, I’ve been thankful for the time to bring some creativity into my life. Flexing my graphic design muscles by creating colorful slide show templates has been a favorite-and unexpected task. Originally, I made slide templates for use with Google Slides™ to create a platform for PearDecks™ and Boom Card™ Decks. After using the slide decks to create cross-curricular resources, I would post them on TPT. To my surprise, I started to receive positive ratings on the slide decks, and I’m so thankful to those buyers for sharing their enthusiasm for my work!

Need help cultivating a gratitude mindset? Start with these ideas:

  • Give thanks for all of the parents and families who are also treading water. Some families will even be generous enough to send you a card or a gift, even as they navigate the chaos of the holidays!
  • Be thankful for your own partner, family, and teaching community. They’re all the duct tape that’s holding your crazy train together right now.
  • Reflect on the beauty of the changing seasons. Maybe you’re not a winter holiday person. But isn’t new snow just a thing of wonder? (Well, at least in December…don’t ask me about snow in May!) Sweater weather-woot woot!
  • Remember who the captain of your school ship. No, it’s not the principal, it’s the school secretary. He or she is the cosmic glue for the sanity of the staff right now. Remember to stop by and share some of those cookies and candy canes with the secretary and say, “Thank you!”

After you give thanks, it is critical to get organized to stay sane in the 3-4 weeks of teaching between Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks. Am I the only one who is, more than ever, really looking forward to the holidays this year? High on my list of things to be thankful for are sparkly holiday lights and a dusting of snow on the pines in our yard. These wintery inspirations are why all of my designs are leading me to holiday themes! I always struggle to keep my middle school students engaged during those weeks before breaks. With that in mind, I’ve been creating holiday-themed engineering design challenges and holiday-themed activities.

What are you thankful for this year? Head on over to IG and follow me @crosswalkcurriculum to get aboard the gratitude train!

Here are some of the newest additions to the Crosswalk Curriculum store:

Get your classroom organized with this 120-slide four seasons and modern farmhouse style daily slides agenda for use with Google Slides™. Use this slide deck to organize and structure your lessons, or for creating fun signs for your classroom. This resource includes slide themes for fall, winter, spring, and summer!

On the days before winter break, students need engaging hands on activities. This resource includes an engineering challenge project for students to design, create, and test sleds using the engineering design process. A cultural holiday art activity based on a German winter custom, and a second design challenge is included in the bundle.

Wishing you a calm and healthy fall!

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