Carolina Thanksgiving

In the Humanities class I co-teach, we’re currently exploring Restorative Justice as an alternative to punitive discipline and determining how we could institute it in some way at Carolina High. One fundamental component of RJ is building community and social-emotional skills by circling up. This past Tuesday, the last day of school before Thanksgiving break, I decided to use a form of circle time to practice oral communication and a spin-off of the circle: a thankful semi-circle.

Students were given a topic based off an old Mohawk tribal tradition giving thanks to ancestors and the natural world. Groups of eight students gathered at the front of the room and one by one went up to the podium to share something they were grateful for in relation to their topic. Among grandparents, water, trees, and the earth one group had the word “birds.”

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Gratitude

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. There’s not any religious controversy, little commercialization…just the gathering of family and friends, good eats, and remembering all of the blessings we have to be grateful for. And though the early settlers celebrating the first harvest did not partake in food-induced afternoon coma or NFL football games, the purpose of Thanksgiving is the same. We approach this holiday with an extra dose of gratitude. It’s a good reminder of a posture we can choose not just the fourth Thursday of November, but everyday. 

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