Gratitude & Appreciation

Appreciation

Gratitude, something that is not always voiced or given. However, shown or intended to be bestowed upon each day. The day to day impact and wisdom shared is coveted and appreciated by so many. The random acts of kindness and little encouraging notes mean so much too.

Gratitude and appreciation look so different based on the culture of the schools and who the team players are. However, there are still similarities in all settings. There is hard work appreciated, kindness throughout, difficult decisions made. and impact made each day. There are students making our day, laughter to deal with difficult days, and decisions coming down that impact the students and staff each and every day.

Something I realized as an early teacher (and before) was you must give gratitude and appreciation specifically to others. It can be a simple note or email or text (nowadays) but, as educators, we must acknowledge what we see, note who has gone above and beyond, and recognize each other. It’s not about the number of notes; it’s about the recognition and value of others. Every person deserves to be recognized for their hard work and dedication. It must be specific, real, and to the point.

So many times, however, we all get busy and the recognition and appreciation gets put on the back burner. It’s not intentional, it’s life! However, as people who know what it’s like to be appreciated, I am asking for the intentional recognition to be a priority when something good occurs. It doesn’t have to be long, it just has to be specific to the person. The specific gratitude will, in turn, bring out appreciation each time.

Intentional recognition not only builds the culture around us. It gives meaning and purpose to those around us too. It is intentional, specific, and purposeful to show gratitude. In a field of juggling so much and making decisions that impact and change paths often, gratitude and appreciation must be an intentional priority to celebrate the good, appreciate those around us, and to move forward as a cohesive unit. A unit who knows others realize the good they bring to the table and the impact they see too.

Gratitude & Appreciation: an intentional priority for cultivating the culture around us! See it, acknowledge it, recognize it, and celebrate the good it brings each day. 

Stronger than you realize

You are stronger than you know

Someone once told me “you’re stronger than you know” and the words remind me every so often that I really am stronger than I realize. Whether it is when a tough call is made or a situation that just isn’t how you saw it coming, YOU are stronger than you realize!

Every day, we face decisions and circumstances that make us stronger. Whether it’s a tough call or a tough situation, YOUR input vastly makes or breaks a situation. Your strength is shown in how you handle situations, how you recover from tough calls, and how you move forward for the better.

Kelly Clarkson has a song, “Stronger,” and some of the lyrics hit home.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone”

YOU are strong and YOU are stronger than you realize!

Winston Churchill said, “never, never, never give up!” As we move forward with a task or circumstance, know YOU have so much potential. You are stronger than you realize and can take on your situation head on.

No matter the circumstance, you make it happen! How you face situations, circumstances, and events all show how strong you really are. Stand tall, stand firm, and realize that you are so much STRONGER than YOU realize!

Kindness: pass it on!

Be Kind whenever possible

Did you know today is World Kindness day? I recently learned about it and was really intrigued by the concept for two reasons. Reason one is the the idea of adding it to the calendar. A day in the whole year to celebrate kindness. However, it’s only a day. Shouldn’t we, as people, celebrate kindness as much as possible? Shouldn’t there be a wave and a desire to be kind daily?

I digress, kindness is a simple act. A smile, a conversation asking about another family, holding the door for someone, striking up conversation, giving a compliment, and the list continues. Kindness can be a grand gesture to one or the world to another. Kindness doesn’t take time; kindness takes heart!

Reason two is the fact that we as educators must model kindness day in and out for those watching our every move, comment, and heart. In my classroom or around school, I even find my students repeating what I’ve said to each other and in the tone or time I say it in. Bottom line is the fact that our students are watching each and every move that we make.  Take it as an opportunity to instill kindness into their hearts each and every day. Show love, show kindness, and take the time to give kindness day in and out.

Be kind & pass it on!

Memories etched into the heart

Yesterday afternoon hit me like a ton of bricks & I found myself staring at the wall (in my empty & quiet classroom). The quiet & stillness reminded me of the memories students have etched into my heart during the day & every other day since being in the classroom and around students.

There are moments of uncertainty, difficulty, frustration, and more. However, the good moments always seem to outweigh the bad each and every time. Even when you’re ready to scream, cry, or just wonder what you got yourself into, there’s always something to come out of each memory. The mind works in mysterious ways and I am grateful for those memories that have been etched into my heart and mind.

Memories

Memories make a HUGE difference in our lives as educators. It’s those moments of Aha! & Oh my goodness from our students that matter. It’s the positivity & excitement that students bring to our world that matters. It’s the interaction and growth of a student that matters most. It is also the JOY students bring each and every day. Every day is a journey and those memories are etched into my heart.

Sharing our hearts, minds, and laughter helps on the really tough days. Those days you feel like you’ve run 2 marathons. However, you still have memories attached to make the day memorable. It may not be easy or fabulous everyday but my world is surrounded by laughter, memories, and moments that truly mean the world to me.

Memories last a lifetime & those memories of what your students mean to you, as well as how they etched memories into your heart and mind, will last. Remember the good & recall the memories etched into your teacher heart each and every day.

 

A grateful heart

Something to live for, to seek, and to strive for…a grateful heart. Something you don’t always show (I’ll admit it first) but crave when you see someone give to another. It’s something to live for.

Random acts of kindness, checking in on a colleague or family member, or showing gratitude towards others shows a grateful heart. Being surrounded by a supportive and caring staff, who you call family, and seeing the love they share for you makes my heart grateful.

Coming off of the massive Harvey devastation as well as the heartache so many have felt during a devastating time moves toward a grateful heart. Seeing the kindness surround so many during the difficult and horrifying time provides a grateful heart. The kindness and sincerity so many have shown and continue to show is amazing.

Whatever you choose to drive your grateful heart is independent. However, I challenge you to stop and remember that gratitude, and your grateful heart, are innate and ever growing. It’s a combination of what you’ve done, have received, and strive for.

JFK grateful

Celebrate gratitude daily. Lead and live with a grateful heart!

Seize the moment & shine the light

The arrival and dismissal line, the hallways, the interactions with students, and the moments we have to make a difference. Every opportunity has the potential to be the light in someone’s world.

Every day, students and staff fill the hallways of schools with the baggage of what goes on in their world.  Their experiences, their pain, their struggles, and the moments they wish they could relive again. However each person, that enters the halls of the schools, has the potential to make an impact on someone else’s life.

Think about it this way. You’re having a tough morning and you have a wonderful discussion with a student or colleague, once you get to your campus, which turns your whole day around. You’re confident and ready to seize the day of wonder ahead of you.

What was it that someone said? Who truly knows. Sometimes it’s just the acknowledgment and the interaction that matters. Sometimes people need to be validated and other times people need to be told they’re doing a great job. Sometimes it’s the time someone takes to make you shine in the light. Their intentions, interactions with you matter. Whatever the reason, staff and students need to know they matter to someone each day. 

SHINE into the lives of others

You have the power to shine the light into the lives of others by words and actions. Seizing the moment may just turn someone’s day around for the better. Your move. Will you make someone’s day by a comment or compliment? It will matter in the lives of others. It can be a compliment, smile, or a mixture of a few things.

Every person deserves to have the light shined on them daily.  Every interaction has the power to have an impact in someone’s life.

Seize the moments as they come!

Unforeseen struggles: own them!

Everyday, we as educators, walk into work with a plan in mind. Whether it be to take on the world (one can hope) or accomplish something important to meet the needs of your students and staff, you have a plan. A hope, a dream, an aspiration, or an idea that you yearn to accomplish. A plan that will assist you in meeting the needs of someone on your path for the day. However, it’s not always workable or easy.

Challenges, problems, and differences can stop your plan dead in its track. It’s like a ton of bricks that overpowers the difficulties ahead. The feeling of despair and frustration loom. The thought of “what have I gotten myself into?” The uneasy feeling that you never planned or dreamed you’d have. However, you’ve got a choice on how to proceed. A choice no one can predict or warn you about. You can either own the challenges or problems and make the best of it or give up.

Giving up, for me, is not an option. It’s a challenge. An unforeseen path that wasn’t on the original game plan. Alas, it’s a struggle to accomplish a surprise that is challenging. It can be a discussion that goes aray, a difficult conversation, or an event that derails your plans. Something that you don’t forsee or plan for. There’s no immediate plan, no agenda.

It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s a struggle. You play out how this struggle will go and try to wrap your head around it. However, we all face challenges in our paths each day. It’s unpredictable and real. There’s no agenda or warning but I challenge you to forge through, don’t give up, and to own your struggles professionally.

Face challengesresize

The challenge may be a roller coaster or a slap in your face but rise up & face your struggles. You can’t predict where the road will lead but you can predict if you will take you on an uncharted path towards tough waters. You’re not along on this journey. Face your challenges head on and own them. Just like the captain on your ship, YOU have the power to steer your course after a surprise attack. YOU have the power to steer head on or around the challenge. YOU have the power to face your struggle head on.

You are STRONGER than you think and can do more than you plan! Be your BEST advocate and rock the unforeseen journey. You never know where it will lead you!