Give Thanks and Live Thanks This Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving from Quantum Learning!It’s become pretty obvious that holidays like Thanksgiving, which started out one way, have drastically changed in terms of how we celebrate. The holiday thrives on traditions (tradition!), some of which have stayed constant since Pilgrims and Indians celebrated together in Massachusetts. Yet, a number of newer traditions are for many people, a little strange and unsettling. For instance, in Buffalo, New York every year on Thanksgiving weekend, 7,000 people gather for the World’s Largest Disco. Seriously. Check it out.

For some, this kind of event ruins the spirit of the holiday. And so, every year we are hit with a slew of articles, reports, and news stories that come out talking about the “real spirit” of the holidays. Usually, they go on about the ways in which our society has lost touch with the true meaning of Thanksgiving and yet, they’ve become so commonplace that, unfortunately, they are rarely read or discussed.

The problem is that these writers never really give us any action steps except for “be thankful.” That’s like putting a brand new swimmer at the top of a high diving board and saying, “Just jump and do some flips and twists.” There’s no guidance, just a simple abstract command. Is Thanksgiving really just about “being thankful for stuff?”

The other day, one of the brilliant Team Leaders from SuperCamp, our academic summer camp for kids and teens, wrote something on Facebook which really made me stop and think. She wrote,

“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”

I think this is something most people realize, yet don’t have the necessary mindset for – that is, they don’t know how to really physically represent the idea of being thankful.

At Quantum Learning professional staff development programs, we’re given so many useful tools for life, relationships, and teaching – and we’re encouraged to use them often so that they can fully impact the way we teach, as well as the way our students learn.

This Thanksgiving, the challenge is to take physical action steps in regards to thankfulness (I think that’s a word. And if not, you’re welcome). Personally, I’m always thankful for important people in my life. If you feel the same, maybe use this Thanksgiving break to strengthen those relationships.

Here are a few QL strategies to get you started:

The Affinity Process

  • Tell me something I don’t know about you.
  • Tell me something you like about me.
  • Tell me something you think we may have in common.

OTFD

Try using OTFD as a way to acknowledge someone.

4 Steps:

  1. Observations
  2. Thoughts
  3. Feelings
  4. Desires

Example: Hi (insert name of resident turkey carver), I noticed that you carved that turkey all by yourself. I think this makes you a champ because only you could carve a turkey like that. I feel proud that you are in my family, not just because of your awesome turkey-carving skills, but also because you are a really great person. My desire is to give you a hug and then eat this delicious turkey. You’re the best, (insert name of resident turkey carver).

4-Part Apology (AAMR)

Maybe this is the time of the year for a heartfelt apology to your parents, kids, creepy uncle, whoever.

Remember, the four steps are:

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Apologize
  3. Make it Right
  4. Recommit

Try some of these out! Let us know how it goes. Most of all, have a fantastic Thanksgiving from all of us here at QLN.

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