SDES White Logo

Cultivating Gratitude in the Classroom

Specially Designed Education Services | Cultivating Gratitude in the Classroom: A November Reflection

November is here, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s a time when we all reflect on the things we’re grateful for, and special education teachers have a unique opportunity to cultivate gratitude in their classrooms. While teaching special education comes with its own set of challenges, there is always room for gratitude.

Gratitude for Your Incredible Students

First and foremost, let’s be thankful for our students. Each child brings something special into the classroom, whether it’s a bright smile, a funny joke, or an unwavering willingness to learn. Special education teachers often focus on their students’ abilities rather than their limitations. Celebrate every small win and express your gratitude for your students’ efforts. Even when progress seems slow, showing appreciation for their hard work can encourage motivation and foster positivity.

Appreciating Your Colleagues

Special education can be a demanding field, and it’s essential to appreciate the support you receive from your fellow teachers and assistants. Collaboration and mutual support lighten the load. Take a moment to acknowledge their specialized skills, infinite patience, and outstanding teamwork. If you see a colleague excelling in a certain area, let them know. A little encouragement and appreciation among colleagues can go a long way in building a positive and supportive work environment.

Gratitude for Available Resources

While resources in special education may be limited at times, it’s crucial to be grateful for what you do have. Whether it’s technology, instructional materials, or a supportive staff, these tools enable you to make a significant impact in your students’ lives. Maximize the resources available to you, and remember that your skill and creativity as an educator play a crucial role in filling the gaps.

Reflecting on the Privilege of Teaching

Lastly, let’s reflect on the privilege of being an educator in the special education field. Despite the challenges, teaching special education is incredibly rewarding. You have the opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of your students, their families, and the wider community. That’s something truly worth being grateful for.

Making Gratitude a Priority

This November, make gratitude a priority in your special education classroom. Shift your focus toward your students’ strengths, collaborate with your colleagues, maximize the resources at your disposal, and never lose sight of your purpose. Small shifts in mindset can set a positive tone for your classroom, even in the face of challenges. When the weight of your responsibilities feels overwhelming, take a moment to be thankful for the opportunity to teach and make a difference.

Cultivating gratitude in your special education classroom can lead to a more positive and uplifting learning environment. It’s a practice that not only benefits your students but also nourishes your own spirit as an educator. Happy Thanksgiving season to all the special education teachers making a profound impact every day! 🦃🍂

Thankful for YOU…

Cheers to you, Champion!

 The SDES Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Register for a FREE Functional Academics Digital Trial!Click Here


SDES has teamed up with Mundo Pato, Inc., our cloud publishing partner, to create a simple and affordable solution for special educators to use during this critical time.

The Virtual Teaching Materials are a separate supplemental purchase that will greatly enhance the Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics ​or can be used on its own.

Virtual Teaching Materials Pricing 1st year: $1000 non-recurring configuration fee plus 12 x monthly charge.

Per Month
Per Year*


































Monthly subscription charge is based on a minimum of 100 students ​and increases by $125 per group of 25 additional students.

Scheduling Tip

Find a student in your classroom who can read and understand your master schedule. Assign them a job in the morning to help set up individual student schedules. See the video of Megan setting up the schedule.
Play Video
Suzanne’s student Megan was her Teacher’s Assistant first period during her junior and senior year. One of her jobs, among other clerical tasks, was to set up individual student schedules. It saved Suzanne prep time in the morning and was a great vocational experience for Megan.

SDES has teamed up with Mundo Pato, Inc., our cloud publishing partner, to create the full Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics in the cloud. *The Styer-Fitzgerald Program in the Cloud Start-Up Fee: a $6000 non-recurring start-up fee will be added to the first year subscription only.

Cloud Pricing

Per Month
Per Year*
Monthly subscription charge is based on a minimum of 100 students ​and increases by $125 per group of 25 additional students.