Everyone knows it’s a strange and difficult time for our country, and especially for students, families, and teachers as we adjust to the current “normal” of covid-19. Something that has been helping me keep positive and productive as I balance working from home, parenting a 3 year old, being pregnant and trying not to worry about my husband, (an essential worker) is keeping lists each day. I’m a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin and her work, and one of the things she does every year is create a list of 18 for 2018, and 20 fo 2020 etc. So I have decided to start keeping some 19 for covid-19 lists to help me stay grateful and connected to the good things that are happening every day.

So here are 19 things I am grateful for today: teaching edition. Keep reading to the end of the post for some free gratitude journal templates you can use at home or at school when we get back.

19 things I am grateful for: teaching edition

  1. My students. As much as I sometimes get frustrated with them, I really miss seeing them every day.
  2. My coworkers. I work with amazing and supportive people and I am so blessed by the way we really work as a team.
  3. My principal. As we struggle to grow and adapt to this new way of teaching, I feel grateful to have a principal who has the best interests of everyone at our school at heart.
  4. Our pastor. Right now, just like many priests in our country, he is working hard to stay connected with all of us and keep the sacraments available in any way he can.
  5. Formed.org. This website has so many amazing resources for faith formation. Each week I am sending ideas to families of things to watch and listen to.
  6. Zoom. Zoom has made its meeting platform available and free for teachers and students during the school closures and it’s amazing.
  7. Professional development opportunities. Our local educational service district is offering teachers chances to learn and grow from home too.
  8. Technology. With email, phones and online options I’ve been able to talk to almost all my students in the last week.
  9. Books. On the last day I was allowed in my classroom I filled a crate full of the books I’ve been wanting to read from our classroom library but just haven’t had the time.
  10. Independent book stores. Our local bookstore started offering free books for people once the libraries closed. Unfortunately the bookstore is closed now too, but they are shipping books. Check them out at https://www.inklingsbookshop.com/.
  11. Working in sweats. This one speaks for itself.
  12. Time to work on some cool religion resources. Slowly but surely this year I’ve been trying to design more of my standby resources into visually pleasing ones. Right now I am in the middle of a Beatitudes unit for my class and I am really excited about it.
  13. Flexible work time. I am still struggling with parenting/teaching balance, but in general I am enjoying spending mornings with my husband and son before William heads to work and I settle down at the computer.
  14. Working outside. It’s been beautiful, so I’ve been grading in the back yard while my son digs in the dirt. Everyone is happy with this arrangement.
  15. Finally being caught up with grading. Right now I have no pile of doom!
  16. A chance to explore new curriculum. I brought some prospective religion books home and am marking lessons I want to try when we are back.
  17. All of the companies making things available online. Many great educational resources are available to suddenly homeschooling families free of charge.
  18. Seeing people come together and help one another. All over our town people are making the best of this bad situation by spreading kindness.
  19. Knowing that this will pass. It mas not pass as quickly as I would like, and there will be a lot of suffering, but it will pass. Praying for those fighting this virus gives my small inconviences a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

What are you grateful for today? Taking some time to think about all the wonderful things in my life right now has given me a lot of perspective in this challenging time. To help you and your middle schoolers focus on the positive, these gratitude journal templates may come in handy. Let me know if you use them, or even better, share as a picture in the comments! Stay healthy and peaceful!