20 Best Gratitude Quotes

20 Best Gratitude Quotes

It’s time to stop and reflect on the good that is around us. Starting each day with an inspiring message of gratitude not only sets the tone for positivity, it also benefits you in numerous ways. Being thankful increases feelings of happiness and optimism. Gratitude fosters positive self-esteem and improves relationships. It helps to reduce stress.

Embrace the power of gratitude with these inspiring quotes.

  1. “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse
  2. “If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.” – Steve Maraboli
  3. “Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault
  4. “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr
  5. “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
  6. “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
  7. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Aesop
  8. “The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” –  Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis
  9. “An attitude of gratitude brings great things.” – Yogi Bhajan
  10. “The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now.”  – Oprah Winfrey
  11. “Remember that what you now have was once among the things that you had hoped for.” – Epicurus
  12. “Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
  13. “This is a wonderful day. I have never seen this one before.”  – Maya Angelou
  14. “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” –  John F. Kennedy
  15. “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick
  16. “Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” – Jim Rohn
  17. “Gratitude sweetens even the smallest moments.” – Anonymous
  18. “All that we behold is full of blessings.” – William Wordsworth
  19. “Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.” – Zig Ziglar
  20. “The more you are thankful, the more you attract things to be thankful for.” – Walt Whitman


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.


Incorporating AI in the Classroom

Incorporating AI in the Classroom

You could use an assistant—someone to help with lesson planning and grading, someone to work one-on-one with students who need extra help, and someone who can help lighten the load of your never-ending to-do list. Meet AI, a.k.a. artificial intelligence, the latest trend in classroom support.


What is AI and how can it help?

AI refers to software that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. This includes learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making. AI can help engage students, create interactive learning experiences, and foster critical thinking skills. It can offer personalized learning geared to student interests and ability, presenting tasks of increasing difficulty with real-time feedback.


A word about AI concerns

AI is not without its concerns. Educators worry about plagiarism and cheating, where AI does the work instead of the student. There are also times that AI is inaccurate because its source is the Internet. That requires teachers to do some due diligence in identifying appropriate tools and discussing expectations and ethical considerations with their students.

How do you help students understand the proper use of AI? Teach a lesson on ethical considerations and appropriate use of AI. For example, it is not okay to use AI to write your essays or do your work. However, it is acceptable to use AI to:

  • Check your finished paper for grammatical errors.
  • Brainstorm ideas for an assignment or a project.
  • Simplify complicated text so that you understand its meaning.
  • Research a topic as long as you are also planning to fact-check the results.

As an educator, you can help manage the use of AI and address potential misuse.

  • Try out the AI platforms before you use them in the classroom, so you fully understand them.
  • Model the AI tool in class for appropriate and inappropriate use.
  • Get to know your students’ writing so you know their style and voice and can detect when they may be leaning on AI too heavily.
  • Ask students to personalize their writing with their own experiences. This is something AI is unable to do.
  • Use formative assessments to evaluate student progress.

While you may use AI in preparation for instruction, student use generally starts in the upper elementary or middle school years. ChatGPT, for example, recommends age 13 years and up for its program.


AI for Teachers and Students

There is value in AI and teachers appreciate this time-saving tool. Here is a look at some popular AI tools for the classroom. Many of these are paid versions but there are free options, too.

Grading & Assessment

Classpoint AI can create quizzes from PowerPoint slides based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Essay Grader can grade an essay against a rubric of your choice in about 30 seconds. It also can detect if an essay was written by AI.

Formative AI automates the grading process and provides insight into student performance. It also generates assessments, including multiple choice, open-ended, and more.

Gradescope offers rubric-based assessments for paper-based and digital student work.

Socrative generates interactive activities from polls to mini-competitions and exit tickets.


DitchThatTextbook provides ideas for lesson plans that go beyond the textbook.

Education CoPilot offers lesson plan templates, writing prompts, and handouts based on grade level and curriculum standards.

Nearpod offers interactive and engaging lessons, learning through gamification, differentiation, and formative assessments.

Parlay Genie provides discussion-prompts and higher order questions about a custom topic.

Teachmateai is a digital assistant with a wide variety of resources from report writing to class behavior and management to lesson planning and more.


ChatGPT can generate a passage about a topic at a certain grade level. Use it to create leveled readers for students. (Try Bing Chat as an alternative to ChatGPT; it often cites where it gets information whereas ChatGPT does not.)

Diffit helps you adapt materials to different reading levels, adjust for students with IEPs, and accelerate for advanced learners.



Hello History allows students to have lifelike conversations with historical figures.

PhotoMath offers step-by-step solutions for arithmetic, algebra, and calculus, including alternate ways of solving equations.

Soundraw enables students to compose music by genre and speed.

Slides & Videos

Bing Image Creator allows you to produce images from a text description.

Canva Magic Write and Magic Design can create templates for classroom presentations.

SlidesAI produces professional and engaging Google slides from your text.

VideoAnt allows you to annotate a publicly available video with comments and questions for students.

Homework Help

Brainly is the place where students can ask academic questions and get real-time help with homework.

Homeworkai is an app that offers homework help, including simple explanations.

Oddityai provides answers to homework. Students need only upload a picture of the worksheet.

Do you have a favorite AI tool that’s not on this list? Please share it in the comments.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.



Music & Arts Grant Recipients – 2023

Congratulations to all of the recipients of the 2023 California Casualty Music & Arts Grants! Our team had the opportunity to do in-person presentations to some of all the very deserving recipients.

Music and Arts Grant - Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark Elementary

Local President Melissa Funk, recipient Mckenzie Pollano, and Dee Dee Templeton from California Casualty.

Music & Arts Grant at Tenaya Middle

Tenaya Middle School

Music & Arts Grant recipient Nickie Seno and Chris Nieto from California Casualty

Music and Arts Grant - Adams City High School

Adams City High School

Jason Malmberg – District 14 Classroom Teachers Association President, Brendan Parker – Recipient, Jolie Spence – California Casualty, and Chris Garcia – Principal

Music and Arts Grannt Stonecreek Junior High

Stonecreek Junior High School

Chris Nieto from California Casualty and Music & Arts Grant recipient Kimberly Aguayo

Music and Arts Grant Edith Teter Elementary

Edith Teter Elementary School

California Casualty Music & Arts Grant recipient Kim Green

Music and arts grant Topeka High School

Topeka High School

Paula Reilly, Associate Principal; Dustin Dick, Principal; Josh Davis, Grant Recipient; Angela Neuroth, Topeka NEA President; Lindsay Buck, KNEA UniServ Director; Rebecca Stumpf, California Casualty

Music and arts grant South Elementary School

South Elementary School

Jolie Spence, California Casualty; Jessica Bush, recipient; and Kathey Ruybal, BEA President

Music and arts grant Liberty Elementary

Liberty Elementary School

Dee Dee Templeton from California Casualty and Music & Arts Grant recipient Stacy Ryan

Music and arts grant Sabin Middle School

Sabin Middle School

Daniel Carragher, Principal (it was pajama day); Megan Langdon and Jessica Medina, recipients; and Jolie Spence, California Casualty

Music and arts grant West Putnam Elementary School

West Putnam Elementary School

Patrisa Espinosa, principal at West Putnam Elementary, and recipient Stephanie Adegbenro 


Music and arts grant Woodglen Elementary School

Woodglen Elementary School

Jolie Spence from California Casualty and Music & Arts Grant recipient, Devan Willis

Music and arts grant Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary School

Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary School

California Casualty Music and Arts Grant recipient Lindsey Sparacino 

Music and arts grant Joe Stefani Elementary School

Joe Stefani Elementary School

Jessica Coronado, recipient of the California Casualty Music & Arts Grant

Music and arts grant Ella B. Allen Elementary School

Ella B. Allen Elementary School

Chelice Gilman, California Casualty Music & Arts Grant recipient

Music and arts grant Bear Creek K-8 School

Bear Creek K-8 School

Jolie Spence from California Casualty with Music & Arts Grant recipient, Angelina “Crow” Medina

Music and arts grant Hugh J. Boyd Jr. Elementary School

Hugh J. Boyd Jr. Elementary School

Nancy Corsaro, recipient of the California Casualty Music & Arts Grant

Music and arts grant Midway Elementary School

Midway Elementary School

Mitzi Hull, recipient of a 2023 Music & Arts Grant from California Casualty

Music and arts grant Cheldelin Middle School

Cheldelin Middle School

Music & Arts Grant recipient, David Blake and Dee Dee Templeton from California Casualty

Music and arts grant in Idaho

Koelsch Elementary

Lara Luthy, Boise Education Association president; Marci Greear, Music & Arts Grant recipient; and Layne McInelly, Idaho Education Association president

Music and arts grant - Charles in Idaho

Owyhee Elementary

Lara Luthy, Boise Education Association president; Charles Diemart, Music & Arts Grant recipient; and Layne McInelly, Idaho Education Association president

Music and arts grant - Emily in Idaho

Hillside Junior High

Lara Luthy, Boise Education Association president; Emily White, Music & Arts Grant recipient; and Layne McInelly, Idaho Education Association president

Music and arts grant - Miano Elementary School

Miano Elementary School

Monique Mowad, recipient of a California Casualty Music & Arts Grant

Music and arts grant Powell Middle School

Powell Middle School

Amanda Crosby, LEA President; Mindy Enley, recipient; and Jolie Spence, California Casualty

How Schools Can Help Teachers Avoid Burnout

How Schools Can Help Teachers Avoid Burnout

It’s time to take teacher burnout seriously. We can plan for it, take steps to avoid it, and address it if it happens, and administrators are key in doing that. Here’s how schools can set teachers up for success and help everyone to avoid burnout.


Reduce extra roles.

Teachers put in plenty of hours. They’re responsible for lesson planning, teaching, grading, assessments, behavior management, confliction resolution, social emotional learning, and home-school communication. They arrive early, stay late, and bring work home. Be careful of adding anything extra to that already hefty workload. Before you ask a teacher to take on an extra role, from chaperoning the school dance to running the cooking club, ask some questions.

  • Is this extra role necessary?
  • What happens if this role is not staffed this year?
  • Is there anyone else who could fulfill this role (e.g., parent volunteer, community organization, etc.)?
  • If a teacher takes on this role, can you provide extra support in another area to free up his/her time? Can extra pay be offered for the extra role?


Give teachers flexibility.

Teaching requires educators to be onsite, but not all the time. Give teachers the flexibility to shift their workload to where it is comfortable for them. Foster a culture where it is acceptable for teachers to choose how to spend their non-classroom time.

  • Allow teachers to leave school when students are not in their care (e.g., run an errand during a free period or leave early for a doctor’s appointment).
  • Permit teachers to do their grading elsewhere.
  • Schedule virtual faculty meetings so teachers can attend from home.
  • Enable staff to participate in professional development days from home.


Schedule time for collaboration.

Educators benefit from sharing ideas and best practices. Schedule regular time where teachers can collaborate with colleagues at their grade level or subject area. This will inspire great work while providing a chance for educators to support each other.

  • Ask teachers to choose the times they would like to meet.
  • Provide substitute coverage for designated collaboration periods.
  • Don’t schedule meetings during teacher prep periods. That is taking away important planning time.
  • Don’t ask teachers to come in early or stay late for meetings.


Give teachers autonomy.

From curriculum standards to standardized testing, there is a lot in the teaching profession that is regimented. Allow teachers the autonomy in their classrooms for the parts of their job that are not mandated. This helps improve job satisfaction and retention. It also raises the quality of instruction.

  • No two educators are the same. Empower teachers to vary their approaches in the classroom even if they are teaching the same grade level or subject area as colleagues.
  • Involve teachers in goal setting for themselves and their grade level/subject area.
  • Ask teachers to identify key areas where they want to grow professionally. Provide support in those areas.


Give new teachers mentors.

New teachers benefit from an experienced hand to show them the way. Not only can a well-designed mentor program help them to be effective, but it can also be a factor in retention and future success.

  • Pair teachers with mentors teaching the same grade level or subject area.
  • Provide coaching guidance to the mentor. Consider a stipend for mentor work.
  • Schedule collaborative time, with substitute coverage so mentors can observe mentees and vice versa.


Make self-care a part of school culture.

Schools that prioritize self-care create a workplace with happier, high-performing employees. Importantly, this is a schoolwide initiative. Administrators need to model the behavior that they want to see in their staff.

  • Set work boundaries. Let teachers know you won’t be sending or answering emails after 6 pm or on weekends. Ask them to do the same.
  • Encourage teachers to take breaks, such as walks around the school.
  • Provide programs and resources for self-care. Show gratitude on a regular basis.
  • Set parameters and norms around how staff interact with, listen to, and support each other.

Pro Tip: Allow teachers to text a colleague to relieve them so they may step out of the classroom for a few minutes if needed.


Survey your teachers.

Educators know what they need in order to thrive. Ask your staff where they need support, and then listen and act on their responses.

  • Conduct a formal survey to identify areas of need. Make it optional to share the respondent’s name to encourage honest feedback.
  • Plan regular check-ins with your staff. Have informal conversations at classroom doors, at lunch, in the hallways, etc.
  • Encourage an open-door policy for your teachers. Alternatively, set office hours so they can easily connect with you.


Plan for burnout.

Despite your best efforts, burnout can happen. Be prepared with clear policies so staff know that there is help should they need it.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

How to Organize a Busy Schedule

How to Organize a Busy Schedule

Before we know it, we’ll be going from relaxing summer days to busy fall schedules. With school, sports practices, extracurricular activities, meetings, and more, it can easily become overwhelming.

We’ve researched some effective ways to take control of our busy schedules. Follow these tips and, hopefully, you’ll find some much-needed time for yourself, too.


Stay on top of the little things so they don’t create last minute rushes.

Stop for gas before the tank is nearly empty. Do your laundry so you don’t have to search for that clean shirt. Go food shopping so you have items to pack for lunch. If you put off the small things, they can become big stressors and throw off your schedule.


Use the one-minute rule. If a task will take you one minute or less, do it now.

Hang up your coat. Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Put away all the groceries when you bring them home, even the ones that don’t need refrigeration. Putting off these smaller tasks will just add to your to-do list.


Make large tasks more manageable by doing them in stages.

If you have a big project at work, you probably break it down into smaller parts. Do the same with your household tasks. Clean the bathroom on Monday, the toilet on Tuesday, and so on. Break up larger projects so that it’s easier to fit them into your schedule.


Make sure everything in your house has a home.

You have five minutes before you must leave, and you can’t find your keys. When you declutter, it’s a lot easier to find the things you need at a moment’s notice. Do that not only for your house but for your car and workspace too.


Schedule tasks for the time that you are most productive.

Are you an early morning person or a night owl? Plan tasks for the times that you have the most energy or can focus the best. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.


Plan for downtime as you wait for pickups or in lines.

Use waiting time for answering emails, reading brief articles, or doing other tasks that take 10-15 minutes. Prepare a list of smaller tasks that you can complete during this time. Some downtime, however, such as sitting in traffic is not right for multitasking. Don’t text and drive, even if your car is not moving.


Create a to-do list with time estimates.

Don’t rely on your memory. Prepare a daily to-do list. Include an estimate of the time each task will take. Star or highlight the tasks that take priority. Then make an informed decision about which tasks you’ll tackle first. Keep your to-do list in sight where you can easily see it.

Pro Tip: Plan the next day’s to-do list at the end of the previous day so you’ll be ready to go.


Reflect and reprioritize.

New tasks pop up all the time. Take a moment midday to reflect on your to-do list. See where you are and what you have yet to do. Update your priorities to tackle the most important tasks.


Create a master calendar for a visual representation of your schedule.

While a to-do list helps with tasks, a calendar displays your daily, weekly, and monthly commitments at-a-glance. Block out activities on your calendar. Color code your calendar by work/personal/family/child. Allow for travel time and make sure to include breaks/downtime.


Set aside different days of the week for different tasks.

Maybe Saturday is for errands. Sunday is for meal prep. Organizing your schedule in this way helps consolidate the same types of tasks. That way, you’re not running to the food store three times a week for groceries. It will end up being a big timesaver.


Reduce time in meetings.

Consider whether a meeting needs to be in person, or if it could be virtual (no travel time). Maybe it could be a call or email. If you do have the meeting, share the agenda in advance. Include times for topics and stick to the schedule.


Avoid distractions from tasks at hand.

Texts and emails can interrupt your workday and family time. Put your phone on silent or wear headphones. Wait until your break to check your phone. Considering checking email at a designated time (e.g., every hour or every couple of hours) rather than all the time.


Don’t be afraid to delegate.

You don’t have to do everything. Don’t accept more responsibility than you can realistically handle. See if there is someone at work or in your family who can take over some of your workload. Consider paying a professional to handle some of your tasks. There are services that handle errands, housekeeping, meal prep, and more.


Use digital tools.

There are many technology tools that can help you organize from calendar apps to digital to-do lists. Some popular tools include ClickUp, Google Tasks, Notion, RescueTime, and Todoist.


Schedule time for yourself.

You do everything for everyone. Make sure you make time to relax and recharge. Block off time for lunch. Schedule time for self-care, including favorite hobbies, time with friends, and time away. You’ll emerge refreshed and ready to take on a new day.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.




A Back-to-School Checklist for Busy Teachers

A Back-to-School Checklist for Busy Teachers

It seems as if summer has flown by, and that means just one thing: school is almost here. How do you get everything done in the short time that you have left? Here’s an easy-to-follow checklist so you can divide and conquer with plenty of time to enjoy the last days of summer fun.


Setting up the perfect environment for learning takes some thoughtful planning. Benefits of a well-arranged classroom include easier transitions and help with behavior management.

  • Before you move a piece of furniture, sketch a layout that incorporates the spaces you want in your classroom.
  • Plan for student seating, small group workspaces, learning centers, supply areas, class library, etc.
  • Make sure your teacher’s desk is positioned so you have a good view of the whole classroom. Stock it with your favorite supplies.
  • Ask a friend, family member or colleague to help you set up the room. (If you ask a fellow educator to help, make sure you reciprocate with his/her room.)
  • Familiarize yourself with the classroom technology and equipment. Put in any repair requests.
  • Put up classroom posters and bulletin boards. (Pro Tip: Leave bulletin boards blank with a sign saying, “under construction,” and plan to post student work there.)
  • Decorate your front door to welcome students.
  • Add student name plates to desks and cubbies if applicable.
  • Post the emergency evacuation procedure.
  • Set up fans for the first warmer weeks of school.



Set up the systems for classroom organization and you’ll appreciate the ease with which you can access items and key dates all year long.

  • Find a place in your classroom for all your materials from art supplies and math manipulatives to textbooks, whiteboards, etc. Try these inexpensive organization hacks.
  • Label your shelves and supply boxes to make it easier to find what you need.
  • Set up student files/portfolios and your grading system. Review class lists, IEPs, allergies, and any other pertinent student information.
  • Set up your planner/calendar with pertinent dates for the school year, and especially for the first marking period. Don’t forget to mark Back to School Night.
  • Make student name tags for the first day, if desired.
  • Have a plan for collecting and storing the school supplies that students will bring the first day.


Rules & Routines

Set the expectations right at the beginning, so that your students know the rules and routines. That will make class time more enjoyable and productive. 

  • Make a list of classroom rules. Include consequences if rules are broken. (You can prepare this even if you will do a similar exercise with student-led, class-created rules because you already know your behavioral management)
  • Determine the rules for leaving the classroom, including bathroom breaks and visits to the water fountain.
  • Finalize your procedures, including morning routine, dismissal routine, homework policy and systems for students to turn in work. You will be teaching these during the first weeks of school.
  • Set your signal to get student attention. Choose the behavior management tools you will use.
  • Determine student responsibilities and how you will rotate classroom duties among students throughout the year.


Lesson Planning

Keep students on track with clear daily goals for student learning. Remember that effective planning also includes some built-in flexibility to respond to student needs. 

  • Decide how you will structure each week based on specials, prep periods, etc.
  • Prepare lessons for the first two weeks. Include icebreaker activities and lots of practice with routines.
  • Plan a stress-free, no-skills-needed bellringer or morning work activity to use as needed.
  • Make copies for the first week so you won’t have to worry about them. You’ll also avoid the long lines at the copier.
  • Determine how, and whether, you will use music in your classroom.
  • Consider classroom transformations that you may do this year as part of the curriculum.
  • Write emergency sub plans. You never know when you might use them.


Family-School Connection

 Building the connection with students’ families will provide a support system that enables the learning to continue at home. 

  • Prepare a student/family welcome letter or video. You may opt to mail the letter prior to the school year, hand it to students on the first day, or post it to your class page.
  • Set up your classroom web page. Include an overview of school hours, class schedule, brief highlights of curriculum, dress code or uniforms (if applicable), and your contact information.
  • List academic websites that students will use, such as leveled reading sites. Determine where you will post homework assignments and set up homework for the first week.
  • Ask for class parents and parent volunteers in your welcome letter or on your class web page.
  • Prepare a list of responsibilities for class parents. If you have a project in mind, like building a class library, you’ll be able to get them started.



 You’re not only in charge of a classroom of students, but you’re also responsible for yourself. Make sure you take the time you need so that you’re set up to do a great job. 

  • Get your professional clothes out of the closet. Determine if you need to update or replace any.
  • Pick out your outfit for the first day of school.
  • Go food shopping for healthy snacks and lunch items.
  • Plan what you will pack for the lunch the first day and the first week.
  • Remember to practice self-care as you return to the classroom.


We know from experience that there’s always something more to do. Don’t feel as if you must do it all. Take a breath and know that you’ve got this. Have a great year!



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.



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