|Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.11||November 2008|
Cover Story by Kioni Carter|
A Reflection of Me:
Why My Students Disrespected Me
Kioni shares her experiences with the “bottom class" and reveals the trials and triumphs of inspiring them to become the "top class"!
|Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching|
|A School That Achieves Greatness|
|»||Words—Are We Teaching the Right Ones?Cheryl Sigmon|
|»||What, Me Worry?Sue Gruber|
|»||20 Ideas for Teaching Citizenship to ChildrenLeah Davies|
|»||On “The Coattails of Affinities”Todd R. Nelson|
|»||People Do Better When They Feel GoodMarvin Marshall|
|»||The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac|
|»||Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman|
|»||$8 a Gallon Creates Jobs in Denmark|
|»||Thoughts about Gratitude|
|»||Labels Are For the Jelly Jar|
|»||Cheating and the 'Net Generation|
|»||November 2008 Writing Prompts|
|»||The Economy, The Great Depression, Money Matters – Lessons & Resources|
|»||Using Photography To Inspire Writing|
|»||A printable story, The Turkey and the Pumpkin|
|»||Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers|
|»||Today Is... Daily Commemoration for November 2008|
|»||School Photographs for November 2008|
|»||Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: November 2008|
|»||Video Bytes: Guided Reading FAQ; Tour of Solar System; Wikis; How We Elect and More|
|»||Live on Teachers.Net: November 2008|
|»||The Lighter Side of Teaching|
|»||Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers|
|»||If you were given a magic wand...|
Subscribe for free home delivery
Thoughts about Gratitude
No wonder people have confused the concepts of "need" and "want." Everything they want is something that they "need."
|By Jay Davidson
Reprinted from the November 2001 Gazette
November 1, 2008
This is a sign I saw for the first time in San Francisco on October 6, 2001: AMERICA - OPEN FOR BUSINESS. The graphic is an American flag with shopping bag handles on the top of it. The message, as I interpret it, is that when we really want to get out of the national depression that was caused by the World Trade Center tragedy just one month before, we do what any patriotic American really ought to do --- we go shopping. That’s where the term "retail therapy" comes from, isn’t it?
My concern is with the implied message that this is sending to our children. This approach is teaching them that happiness can be purchased. Feeling good depends on having the right new shoes, the watch that goes with the outfit, the latest hairstyle.
No wonder people have confused the concepts of "need" and "want." Everything they want is something that they "need." They need it to fit in, to be respected, to be in with the in crowd.
Kids are masterful at zeroing in on what they don’t have and what they think they have to get. Thanksgiving is a good time to challenge that line of thinking - to help them appreciate what they have rather than mourn what they are missing. Since parents have been on the planet much longer, you have a wider perspective than then children. This is a good time to share your wisdom with your little ones.
Every household chore is an opportunity to serve as a reminder of appreciation. While washing the dishes, focus on gratitude for the meal just eaten, the family members with whom we shared it, and the kitchen in which it was prepared. While making the bed, be grateful for the bed itself. Doing the laundry makes me think about having a selection of clothes to clean, as well as the family members who wear each item. Children will not necessarily see these connections; it is up to us to point them out.
We have a choice about how we look at our lives. I choose to focus on what I have, as opposed to what I want. When we think about what we have, we always have enough. When we think about what we want, we never have enough.
Jay Davidson is also the author of "Teach Your Children Well: A First Grade Teacher's Advice for Parents"
Visit www.jaydavidson.com for more information about Jay Davidson.