Celebrating Thanksgiving with your staff and students

Did you know that many countries have a celebration where they are thankful for the gifts they have received? Much of the world celebrate with thanksgiving the gifts of family, faith, and provision. 


Each culture celebrates differently and at different times of the year. 


In Canada, they have a Thanksgiving holiday in October. The Canadian holiday is connected to European traditions of harvest festivals. Churches will sing harvest hymns and decorate with pumpkins, corn, cornucopias, and other harvest bounties. 


Korea celebrates a day of thanks called Chuseok in late September and early October. Rome also has a harvest festival known as Cerelia. They have parades, music, and give thanks for the harvest given. This type of celebration happens in many countries around the world.


The exact origins are unknown, yet, prayers of thanksgiving are common with most religions as they proclaim thanks for the harvest given. People have known since the beginning of time how precarious the weather and growth of food can be. When the miracle of a harvest comes, there is a tremendous amount of gratitude and thankfulness.


Let’s all give thanks


I am thankful that the United States, like many other countries, celebrates Thanksgiving. We may have a complicated history, but we have much to be thankful for. Understanding the need for gratitude and giving thanks is an important tool for students to have. When I say tool, I do believe it is a tool. We need to teach our students to be thankful. We all need to practice gratitude.


Science has told us that when people live with gratitude they become more gracious, which improves physical health, reduces aggression, and grows a person’s empathy. For years I have read about the benefits of living with gratitude. Yet it is more difficult than just doing it. Stress, fear, and trauma can get in the way of living a life of gratitude, and being thankful. It takes intentionality and developing awareness of all the things we can be thankful for. Teaching gratitude when students are young sets them up with the tools they need to be thankful.


As we work with our students over the next few weeks, we can find ways to be intentional about developing an attitude of gratitude with our students. As an administrator, have fun showing your staff gratitude and leading the way in celebrating and being thankful for all that you have been given.


Here are some suggestions for Administrators:


  • Send thank you notes created in Canva.com: Administrator Thank you Cards
  • Take time out of your day to personally say thank you to your staff
  • Give out million dollar chocolate bar with a note that says “Thanks a million.”
  • Write out a prayer of thanks for your team and email it to them
  • Provide a box on campus where students and staff can write out what they are thankful for. Then read them each week over the intercom


Beyond Technology Education is thankful for all of you. As a way of being gracious to all of our subscribers and clients, we want to say thank you by giving you a group of technology projects teachers can use in their classrooms during November.


Click on the link below to receive our free projects for grades K-8.



Citation: Wood AM, Joseph S, Maltby J. Gratitude uniquely predicts satisfaction with life: incremental validity above the domains and facets of the five factor model. Pers Individ Dif. 2008;45:49–54. [Google Scholar] [Ref list]

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