The Gratitude Workshop

x_gratitude2Sage Creek High School English teachers Corrie Myers and Sarah Hunter took a leap of faith and created a new kind of final exam for their senior students this year. After 12 weeks of studying the journey archetype in class, Corrie and Sarah decided to give their students the opportunity to shift the inward study to a more outward focus. “Our goal was to finish the first trimester of our students’ English 4 class with a concrete life skill that would be transferable to them as adults,” said Sarah. So, combining components of the text they studied and experiences with guest speakers, the three-day Gratitude Workshop was born.

The class started the workshop by reading two articles about the benefits of gratitude and watching a video about the role that gratitude plays in the science of happiness. Students were then asked to identify and write a letter of gratitude to three people in their lives. On the day of their final, the students called those three people and read their letters out loud and on camera. “I don’t believe that anyone left the classroom that day without a sense of accomplishment and pure joy, knowing that they made a difference in the day of someone that they love,” said student Madison Surrency. “I think that feeling and impact was exactly what my teachers were trying to create, and I absolutely believe that it was worth the risk.”

News of the workshop is spreading. Corrie and Sarah have already been contacted by other teachers from across the state asking for their lesson plan. “Not only do we intend to do this project with our seniors every year,” they said, “we hope to spread gratitude to schools and homes across the country in this same way!”