Month: May 2021


Traditions usually uphold our history and are connected to strong memories. They help us remember people, places, and events and have the opportunity to give us a sense of belonging and community. Traditions are familiar and can bring comfort, pointing to the passing of time. 

In schools, we have many traditions at this time of year: moving up ceremonies, graduations, retirements, and more. We celebrate the successes of our students, faculty, and staff while engaging in traditions and rituals to show the passing of time. This is yet another time of transition.

Should traditions change as our communities change? Many of our schools don’t look the way they did at their founding. This is a good thing. Change is essential. Sometimes there are opportunities to bring new life to long-standing traditions in a way that honors the past as well as acknowledges the present. How do we do this? We begin with reflection as these are big decisions.

Finishing the Year with Gratitude

As the school year comes to an end, a gratitude practice can intentionally direct hearts and minds to name and offer thanks for little things. It can focus our thoughts on positive aspects of our life and our work. It can help turn a deficit mindset of feeling, that nothing is ever enough, into a plentiful mindset of feeling fulfilled. Our capacity to feel generous is increased when we feel we have enough. When we practice gratitude, we focus less on wanting/grasping and resisting/pushing away. Practicing gratitude as a team is an opportunity to see our interdependence and feel a connection. 

Gratitude practices, over time, can have an impact on physical and mental health and the brain. “… simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain,” noted Joshua Brown and Joel Wong in their research on gratitude. Research has shown connections between gratitude practices and physical and mental health.