- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Reprint edition (March 18, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1475820631
- ISBN-13: 978-1475820638
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gratitude: A Way of Teaching Reprint Edition
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This book is a must-read for teachers and parents who want to tap into the transformative power of gratitude for themselves and for the young people in their lives. Owen M. Griffith provides us with a variety of challenges and stories from his personal experiences as an elementary school teacher that not only help fend off anxiety and complaining, but that help bring out the unexpected resourcefulness and goodwill in us all. In an age of limitless information and choices, this book shows us how to make grateful choices that will simply make life more memorable and fulfilling at home and at school. (Dr. Giacomo Bono, Assistant Psychology Professor, California State University Dominguez Hills)
This book is an excellent tool for educators and parents to transform the students’ disposition from victim to advocate. It addresses how to model behavior in order to combat the denial of accountability, treat the cancer of complaining, and reverse the effects of emotional atrophy. Each chapter provides activities (“Let’s talk about it”) to instill skills in our students to become a valuable contributor in our society. Gratitude: A Way of Teaching is about future-proofing by investing in our future one gratitude at a time. (Greg A. Doss, Bartow County School System CTAE Coordinator)
In a time of tests, accountability, and burnout, Gratitude: A Way of Teaching beautifully encourages teachers and students to connect to their own and each other's humanity by stopping for a moment and asking, ‘What is wonderful about life?’ (Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D., Education Director, Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley)
In Gratitude: A Way of Teaching, Mr. Griffith does a superb job at giving teachers practical strategies for making their students grateful. Following these strategies, and with patience and persistence, we can significantly influence the children in our own personal worlds. And, if we do, that will influence programs, clubs, schools, and other institutions in the community, too. Our society needs this book more than ever. With teachers like Mr. Griffith in the classroom waving the “gratitude flag,” we parents have yet another reason to be grateful. (Jeffrey J. Froh, Psy.D., associate professor of psychology, Hofstra University, and co-author of Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character)
Gratitude is a difference-maker. With the power to heal, energize, and change lives, we need gratitude in the classroom more than ever. Weaving together real world examples, inspirational stories, and the latest science, Owen M. Griffith explains why. Gratitude: A Way of Teaching should be required reading for teachers, administrators, parents, and anyone else who has a stake in our children’s future. You will be challenged, edified, and stirred to take a fresh look at this timeless virtue and see why we owe our children the gift of gratitude. (Robert A. Emmons, Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Positive Psychology, author of Gratitude Works! and Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier)
Exciting new research has shown that gratitude may play a vital role in our schools. In Gratitude: A Way of Teaching, Owen M. Griffith writes about how he has used this research in his classroom. I believe that this book will help many people. In a very practical way, Griffith shows how gratitude can be incorporated into the schools. Filled with inspiring examples and many practical suggestions, this book can be used to improve the gratitude of students in your classroom, and perhaps more importantly, it should help teachers generate a more grateful attitude toward their students. My hope is that this book will provide the spark to develop new ways to incorporate gratitude into the school setting. (Philip Watkins, Professor of Psychology, Eastern Washington University)
This is an important book that inspires us to revitalize our classrooms through the lenses of gratitude, calling for teachers, parents, and students to create a joyful and kind environment so that we all may thrive. (Erik Herndon, classroom teacher at Centennial Academy, Atlanta, GA)
About the Author
Owen M. Griffith is a teacher, writer, educational consultant, and blogger residing with his wife and son in North Georgia. He earned a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and his work has appeared on Huffington Post and Edutopia.
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“Gratitude is a numbers game. The more often we practice it and find new ways to express it in our lives and classrooms, the more it becomes habit and a deep vital aspect of our lives. Gratitude is like a million dollar grant that we get one dollar at a time. It is not always instant gratification, although every time we practice it, we can feel better and more positive. Gratitude helps recalibrate our brains in a positive way, allowing us to see all the good going on in our classrooms and the world”
A key objective of the book is well stated:
“We may look at the brain as a forest and the paths through the forest that are used most often become permanent paths for the neural activity in our brains. Conversely, the paths that are infrequently used tend to disappear. So, repeatedly focusing on things we are grateful for in life allows us to transform our brain, making those positive paths stronger, more easily accessible’ as we change our worldview and vision.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I is an overview about gratitude that explores its roots and challenges in the context of our modern mindset so often consumed with worry, complaining, materialism, and entitlement. The science of gratitude is explored deeply as well as the reasons why so many of us find it difficult to experience gratitude. Part II is full of practical exercises to apply gratitude in our own lives, our classrooms, and in our families.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the book to me involved the science behind why we so often find it hard to find gratitude. The book explores scientific research around ‘negative bias’ that suggests that “over the course of evolution, animals that were nervous, driven and clinging were more likely to pass on their genes, and their inclinations are now woven into our DNA. Even when we feel relaxed and connected, your brain keeps scanning for potential dangers, disappointments, and interpersonal issues”. The research explored the example of “we can have ten important experiences in a day: five will be positive, four will be neutral, and one will be negative. Because of our natural negative tendency, that negative experience will be what we put our attention on and that will strengthen our negative feelings and general anxiety.”
I enjoyed the pragmatism of the gratitude exercises and takeaways the book suggested from simple ideas like gratitude lists and letters to more complicated suggestions about how to apply gratitude in family and classroom settings. Since the author has a long experience of applying gratitude himself, his stories and antidotes really added anchor points to the book. I also loved the quotes he used to begin each chapter. Some of these quotes like the one from a 2nd century philosopher named Epictetus remind us that this idea of gratitude and the power of perception are not new:
“Men are not disturbed by things, but by the view which they take of them”
So this book is really a ‘how to’ discover that within each of own lives lies an abundant gift, often unexamined and ignored, that can change our own lives, the lives of those we love, and the communities of those whose lives we touch.
The gift is seeing things differently through the corrective lens and actions of gratitude. Thank you Owen for helping me discover this gift more fully!!!