An Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude can be defined as a sense of thankfulness or joy for receipt of something.  Unfortunately, this is a quality we do not see a lot of in educational leadership.  With the hustle and bustle of the opening school, safety, discipline, parent conferences, observations, evaluations, testing, graduation, and closing school, one can see how it is easy to delegate tasks and forget to say thank you.  In this moment can you think of how many times your supervisor or a colleague thanked you for completing a task?

In public schools we are constantly asking teachers to do more with less.  Shouldn’t we thank them for the work they are presently doing?  A simple thank you goes a long way.  Everyone in the school should believe that their job is important in the attainment of student achievement and should be thanked for their contribution.  Students want to learn in a clean building, they want to know that their teachers are knowledgeable of their subject matter and that principals can keep the school safe.  Bottom line, everyone from the custodian to the principal deserves some daily gratitude.  How awesome would it be if the building administrator ended each day by thanking the students and staff for a great day?

In addition to administrators being grateful, teachers too should have an attitude of gratitude.  How powerful would it be if a teacher enters the classroom and starts by thanking the students for coming to class ready to learn.   I know there are a lot of things educators need, but if we shift our way of thinking to focus on the great things we have then, the culture of the school would shift to a more grateful one.  Aren’t we happier when we are appreciative and appreciated?

Gratitude strengthens relationships.  We must desire better relationships in our schools.  Let’s begin this week by thanking people for what they are doing to improve our lives.  Let’s thank our students for coming to school and being prepared to learn.  Lets’ thank our colleagues for their support.  Finally, let’s thank our family and friends for their unconditional love for us.  If we begin each day with an attitude of gratitude, we really can change the world one person at a time.

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