The Three Gs: Graciousness, Gratitude, and Grit

Jason Anklowitz

Jason Anklowitz

At the conclusion of an all-school assembly earlier this year, I asked students if they were familiar with the three Rs of education:  reading, writing and arithmetic.  As you might have guessed, many hands went up.  These are often the areas of greatest emphasis for our children in school, after all. 

But each of those hands went down when I asked who had instead heard of the three Gs.  Despite being less familiar as a group, I assured students, the three Gs are just as important as the three Rs.  I have included below the explanations I gave students for each of the three Gs so you may continue the conversation at home.


What types of people are gracious?  They use every opportunity to show they are kind and caring. And no matter the situation — even when they disagree, they treat others with consideration and with respect.  


Having gratitude means being thankful for everything we have, especially for the things that are not things: our families, our friends, our school, and our teachers.


We develop grit when situations are challenging. There may be a problem at home. There may be a problem at school. There may be a problem between classmates or friends. Whatever happens, we take hold of ourselves, we take a deep breath, and we say, “I will get through this with help from the people who care for me.”

In concluding, I asked students to be sure they make time each day not only to practice the three Rs, but also to practice the three Gs.  I hope you’ve all seen examples of that practice since!

NOTE:  I first heard the ideas above expressed by Patricia Yahnke, one of the most dedicated educators I have known in my career.  For how flawlessly and consistently she exemplified the three Gs, Ms. Yahnke could have been the terms’ inventor.

Link to download "10 Things to Look For In an Inspirational Classroom" 

Jason Anklowitz

Jason Anklowitz

Jason Anklowitz is the Head of Whitby School. Though a native of New Jersey, Jason first learned to read and write in Spanish while attending a Montessori school in Madrid. The experience left such an impression that Jason later returned to Spain where he worked at the American School of Madrid following his graduation from George Washington University. Upon his return to the United States, Jason worked as part of the Teach for America program in Washington, D.C. He later completed a Master of Education degree from Harvard University. He entered the independent school world for the first time in 2004 and, following terms at schools in Boston and Washington, D.C., Jason spent seven years at the International School of Trieste in northeastern Italy, the last five of which he was the school’s Director. Jason has spent the past five years at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica, California, most recently as the Associate Head of School. While living in Los Angeles, Jason completed his Master of Business Administration at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurialism.