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.