Inspiring Gratitude Tears

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week 2022; today I'm feeling grateful for this invitation to share my reflections around gratitude and grief, around empathy and kindness on The Kindness Podcast with Nicole J. Phillips.

I also got to share that Mr. Quigley's Keys is now available in Spanish.
Click {here} to tune in on You Tube and you'll quickly see why
this podcast is number 3 on Oprah's favorite Happiness Podcasts.

Today, a few intriguing ideas to share. First up, I've been having the BEST time making "I Love _____ Day!" phone calls. I first learned of this practice in the spring of 2011 when Joshua was in the sixth grade and his teacher, Autumn Bockart, made the call. Here's an excerpt from Chapter Two in What's Under Your Cape? detailing that precious memory:

That day, I vowed that if I ever had a classroom of my own again, I was going to make those calls. I started last Thursday and I literally had to choke back tears through the first three. I guess I didn't really realize how much I have loved having those learners in my class family, and telling their parents with specificity all of the reasons I love them brought tears. Gratitude tears. Tears of compassion and connection.

I'm probably a third of the way through my 68 calls right now and each one feels as joyful as the former. Gosh I'm going to miss these teens! What a blessing they have been to me during this difficult season. Click {here} for a post with 3 keys to making meaningful positive phone calls home.

Another energizing idea from the Coach at my former school.

Physical and mental health are alive and well in this gym;
each character badge represents an act of kindness completed
or a goal set and successfully achieved.

Students set goals based on the core-value words that
form the acrostic for SUPERHEROES in my book.

Talk about your heart 💜 health. More gratitude tears.

Now flash forward to tomorrow with me.

Yesterday, a former student reached out with this note:

Hi Mrs. Gruener, I hope you’re doing well! For my English class this year, we were encouraged to write a letter to a school administrator who we feel made an impact in our lives. And the first person that came to mind was you! As a part of my grade, I am instructed to read the letter to you in person, in my cap and gown. So I am reaching out in hopes that we could set up a time to meet sometime this week so I could read you my letter. Thank you!

Ummm, yes please! Don't you LOVE this assignment? 

I haven't seen this young lady for ten years, an entire decade,
back when we created this together when she was in second grade,
to help her with mindfulness strategies for in the cafeteria.

And tomorrow I get to see her again, in her cap and gown,
over a savory Starbucks rather than a lunch-sack sandwich.
All grown up and ready to graduate from high school.

Be still my soul as I anticipate even more gratitude tears.

Does anyone else feel like they spend the entire
month of May inspired by and inspiring gratitude tears?

If you are a teacher, dear reader, thank YOU for being SOLD OUT for kids and for holding their hearts so lovingly, so tenderly, and with so much wisdom, grace, understanding, acceptance, compassion and care.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!