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Throwback Post: Gratitude

Two different times today the idea of positive psychology cropped up in my life. The first was during a conversation I had with Lorraine Widmer, who is running Grapes + Gratitude, about writing gratitude letters. The second was while listening to a What’s Your Grief‘s podcast episode titled Positive Psychology, Grief and PERMA, which talks about Martin Seligman’s book, Flourish. I definitely will be writing about this whole idea, but I’m not quite there yet. Below is a blog post I wrote back in October 2016. Be sure to check out the school picture of me from grade 6!


For World Suicide Awareness Day, I wrote a blog post called Flourish After Suicide specifically to share  Martin Seligman’s book Flourish. I felt one of the best ways I could honor the memory of my dad was by sharing how I incorporate well-being and self-care into my life. One of the exercises Dr. Seligman talks about in his book is discussing or writing about what went well each day, which I have been trying to for myself, with my family and with my grade 1 students. Another well being exercise he suggests is a gratitude visit. Below is an email I recently sent out with a subject line that read 1993.

So… I’m reading Flourish by Martin Seligman. It’s a book my principal gave me before the start of the school year about positive psychology and well-being. One of the exercises they discuss is a “gratitude visit”. Technically, the gratitude visit is about writing a letter to someone in your life that you are grateful for. This is my shortish email because, in all honesty, I’m only guessing I have the right person. I think you are the Mr. T who taught grade 6 at Monterey during the 92/93 school year.

Dear Mr. T,

My name is Kristy Wolfe, but you would have known me as Kristy Morgan. I was in your grade 6 class at Monterey.  Every time I have ever been asked who I am grateful for your name always pops into my mind first, albeit spelled differently every time!

You not only impacted my life as a learner way back in grade 6, you have hugely impacted my life as a teacher. I believe I am the teacher I am today because of the experiences I had with you. Your humour, positive attitude, and commitment to student participation in learning continue to impact me to this day. That year in grade 6 our class created a city that landed us on TV, saw Jurrasic Park in theatre (at night!), and were able to make choices about our learning through a number of other projects. I recall doing projects on ESP (extra sensory perception) and on Fiji. I have not been to Fiji yet but I did teach in Uganda. And no I haven’t found my sixth sense yet! 😉

One of my roles in the school where I teach is technology support for teachers, which makes me think of the technology you had in our class. I don’t even know what it was! It was like a mix between a record and a CD, but it seems like you have continued to expose your students to new technology and I plan to take a look through the resources on your blog. Which is how I found you. Actually, when I first googled your name I came across an article in the Times Colonist about reading achievement with a grade 4 class you had.

I am grateful for you and I thought it was about time you knew!
Thank you for what you do for kids (and adults) every single day.

Kristy

PS Please let me know if I had the right person or if I should continue my search!

Here are a couple of the things Mr. T wrote back to me:

“Wow – what can I say… you didn’t make my day, you made my year!!  🙂  Thanks so much for your wonderful message!”

“This is my 39th year teaching full time, and I guess I’m supposed to stop soon – but I’m still having too much fun, still learning and still feel I have something to give.”

“BTW, I think maybe we used HyperCard for the Mac way back in 1993.”

“It mean a lot to me that you reached to share your gratitude.  Thank you again.”

My heart was so full when he wrote back! And I was inspired by him all over again. I plan to try and catch up with him the next time I am in Victoria.

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I had a sweet perm in grade 6!

Who are you grateful for? Have you told them?

2 thoughts on “Throwback Post: Gratitude

  1. Hey Kristy – Yes! The Gratitude Letter. My recent ‘deeply intentional gratitude letter’ was to Ian Bird, a leader in the community foundation movement. Ian encouraged everyone in the field, on the field, sidelined from the field to ‘go where the energy is’. That has been such an insightful mantra and Gratitude is such an powerful force field! When I read my letter aloud to Ian, over Zoom, he also said, “Thanks, you made my day!” And now – thanks to you for making my day. I appreciate the mention of Grapes’n’Gratitude – we will start on Tuesday November 3 and see watch the positive energy flow. https://lwcbanff.ca/Gratitude/?p=772

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