Just about everyone knows about the benefits of appreciation. There is much talk about this topic using the words gratitude and thankfulness. While some people really feel appreciation at a deep level, others do not. Since appreciation is one of the essential keys to joyful living, it is in our best interests to learn how to do it at a level that is truly tangible. Learn appreciation? Teach appreciation? Yes, it is a skill to learn, teach, expand, acknowledge, and discuss. So, how can we teach this skill to ourselves and children?
You teach it by focusing on an ordinary, everyday item.
For example! Since this website supports middle schoolers everywhere, we’ll use a commonly found item in classrooms across the globe…the pencil sharpener. Yes, a pencil sharpener can teach appreciation. Let’s begin at the very beginning…literally.
First, raw materials must be extracted and obtained from the Earth and purified. This takes an incredible number of steps, machines, transportation methods, planning, and people. Just ponder the process of obtaining the materials needed to make one single pencil sharpener!
Next, designers and engineers create not only a functioning pencil sharpener, but one that will withstand classroom usage. Having been in classrooms in multiple states in multiple grade levels, it is vital to have pencil sharpeners that can withstand all kinds of usage. Sometimes, the pencil sharpener takes a lot of abuse from frustrated students. Durability is key.
Also, pencil sharpeners that aren’t working create a significant disturbance during lessons so my appreciation for pencil sharpeners that work and work well and quietly is huge! A pencil sharpener that stays sharp is reason enough for appreciation. A pencil sharpener’s case that comes off and back on easily is a big reason for appreciation.
I could go on and on with the details of a pencil sharpener to demonstrate the teaching of appreciation. How about an eraser? Pencil? Pen? Ruler? Paper? The point is to go deep into the details about an object to feel appreciation. It’s too easy to skim over the essentials of our lives. Stopping to go into the details of any object will develop one’s ability to deeply feel appreciation. It can be taught. It can be something that one routinely utilizes to have appreciation for all of life.