Creating a Culture of Gratitude

For the past month or so, my school has engaged as a community and giving thanks and building a culture of gratitude. It all began ultimately with us preparing for Veterans Day, and it was so successful that we continued by building chain-link some kindness, writing additional thank you cards to people in our lives what impacted us, deep gratitude by creating five fingered turkeys of gratitude and hung them publicly in our common area, and today we continued building a culture gratitude amongst the staff.

Inspired again by the awesome #BFC530 chat, facilitated this morning buddy amazing @jvincentsen, I got to work this morning and created a high-five with directions that required the recipient of the high-five to read the gratitude that was provided to them and then spread the gratitude by giving a high-five to another staff member. When I got to work this morning I wrote to notes to staff members, and cross my fingers. I had no idea if it would work. Knowing how I felt after the #BFC530 Twitter chat this morning, I was hopeful that I could use this activity to help build a culture of gratitude in our building. Hearing the word "thanks" is so impactful, and so simple, and get so easily overlooked. I am certain that I am guilty of this as well – and I hoped that it would spread recognition gratitude and appreciation amongst the staff who works so hard to do what's right for kids and help our students grow their potential.  I don't know if everyone on my staff received a high-five by the end of the day, but I do know that many people did. As I did walk-throughs around the building, I saw high-fives on desks, staff members excited to see greatly appreciate a fellow colleague for job well done, and have a positive impact. I could feel the wave…folks were buying in. I even got a high-five back when I got back to my office at 2:30.

One of the unintended consequences of his activity with that students got to see their teachers modeling gratitude and appreciation. Students watch everything we do and say, and I'm certain students were watching their teachers gift thanks, appreciation and gratitude for the things they do every day. Some are big, some are small, but all have an impact on our students in school – and I hope that the teachers in our school left today, feeling good about the work they do any impact that we have collected we had on our students lives. What we do and what we say matters – not just with our students - but with our colleagues as well. Truly, we are a community. It was just awesome.

I think the most impactful moment for me was running into a staff member who had just received a high-five, and said "Wow. This is so cool. I really needed to hear this – and it made my day."


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