Shannon had the opportunity to sit down with Maria Bolner, A Gifted Resource Teacher at West Chester East High School in her Podcast In Pursuit of Gratosis, and talk about the impact of utilizing Gratitude as a tool to support the social and emotional learning of her high school students.
Maria works with students who have been identified as “gifted” to support their journeys beyond the day-to-day curriculum through resources and opportunities to excel through High School and beyond.
In 2021, Maria realized that she wanted to support her students beyond the typical expectation in her role. Returning to school after the pandemic, Maria saw a need to support the mental health and wellbeing of her students, and Maria decided to support them by implementing a daily Gratitude practice in her classroom.
Throughout the episode Maria shares her reasons for utilizing Gratitude, the positive impact it had on her relationship with her students, and the simplicity of adding it into the daily schedule.
I need them to feel safe, and I need them to feel valued, and I want them to learn how to love themselves and to work through hard times…because it is not going to be the only pit in their life, there is going to be more hardships they are going to have to work through. And I didn’t want them to always focus on the negative because there are beautiful, positive things in our life all the time. So, I decided that as I was welcoming them all into my classroom for the first five minutes or so we would spend some time practicing Gratitude.
When Intentional Gratitude is utilized as a tool for mental wellbeing it can support the nervous system, decrease feelings of sadness and anxiousness and support students’ abilities to focus. Maria shares in this episode how other teachers can utilize Gratitude to help students be present, refocus and better comprehend the materials that are being taught. It is truly a wonderful opportunity to help students to learn tools that they can take with them outside of the classroom to help navigate life and the emotional moments in their life.
Go ahead and take a listen!! We hope you enjoy listening as much as Shannon enjoyed interviewing Maria! And if you are a teacher, or a member of a school community and you are looking to bring Intentional Gratitude practices into your school programs, please reach out to us at Support@themofg.com. We would love to learn more about your school and if we might be able to support you!
All the Best,
The Motion of Gratitude Team