One Good Thing Remix

For the last couple years, I’ve had my calc students journal “one good thing” every couple weeks or so (every quiz day). I liked the idea in theory, as this blog means so much to me and I wanted to share the concept with my kids. However, students would journal while simultaneously preparing their notebooks to turn in for homework grades and so there was always a lot of chit chat and I honestly wondered if anyone ever wrote anything or if they just smiled and nodded and then went about their merry business. 

I had planned to do away with “One Good Thing: Student Edition,” but then I heard from a handful of past students how much they appreciated this task…even if it wasn’t always easy to do. 

So, keep but modify…the story of a teacher’s life. 

This year I’ve decided to have the kids journal on review days. Today was our first try. 

I pointed to the sign behind my desk which says, “Every day may not be good, but there’s ONE GOOD THING in every day.”

I told my kids about how this blog was started and is maintained by several teachers all around the country who have committed to logging something good that happens in their classroom every day…even the days that may not be good. I told them how this practice is making me a better teacher…and–I think–a better person. 

“Would you humor me and be willing to journal your own one good thing on review days?”

I can’t say I got a whole lot of yes’s but at least no one said no. 

I asked them to turn to the last page in their composition notebooks (a few were pleasantly shocked that it already said, “One Good Thing” on the top…they had no recollection of writing that the first week of school when we prepped their notebooks…lolz…so great). Then I asked them to close their eyes and try to think of something good that’s happened in the last twenty-four hours. Once they had their One Good Thing, they could open their eyes and start journaling, but I asked for complete silence for two minutes and encouraged them to write for the full time period. 

Only my kids know if this is beneficial for them or not. But I can tell you this: it was a very beautiful thing looking at a silent (hehe) room full of teenagers, who were hopefully writing and contemplating the good in their lives. 

Because we all do have so much good. 

We have a lot of bad, too. 

And so I think this idea of acknowledging that the bad exists {every day may not be good} but choosing to focus on the good {but there’s one good thing in every day} has become a healthy way for me to blend realism with optimism. It’s undoubtedly made me happier. I hope it’s something my students are willing to try with me this year. 


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