Gratitude & 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. 


Cultivating staff relationships

Morning duty, lunch duty, arrival and dismissal, teaching, redirecting, and duties aside, from the classroom, have educators stretched in many directions. We get busy. We get stressed and we isolate ourselves avoiding opportunity unintentionally to connect with others. Life happens. We all know it. However, school culture is VITAL for a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

Staff connections

Greet & acknowledge each other daily
Walk into school and make an intentional effort to greet others with pride. Take the time to take interest in their life, what is happening with them, and say good morning or afternoon. It can be the difference maker in our lives and shows that someone is taking time out of their lives to care about you. Who YOU are and what YOU contribute. Cultivate relationships by building each other up.

Brag on each other
Our students watch our every move. They see our reactions and our body language when it’s a great moment and other moments too. Build up the culture of your school by bragging on each other to other staff and students. Why not tell students how awesome someone else is? Why not celebrate what’s happening around your school? Cultivate the school climate by giving credit where it’s due and telling others about the awesomeness on your campus.

Come together & be heard
Our job as educators is stressful. There are demands on all paths we take and roadblocks along the way. This does not mean that we can’t, as a group or department, come together and meet to hash out difficulties or celebrate the end of a long day. In this day and age, we are so electronically driven. However, we still have needs to be heard, celebrated, and cherished. Come together and meet up to laugh, cry, or encourage one another. Cultivate relationships by valuing each person and come together to be a united front.

As a united front, it’s time to take ownership of our staff relationships and build each other up. It’s time to celebrate who we are and what we give to our education world. It’s time to own what we do and how we carry about our lives. It’s time to build up the culture of the school day in and out. Cultivate relationships daily and celebrate the opportunities to come together and be heard. Cultivate to acknowledge, inspire, celebrate, and be heard.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much!