Gratitude is one of the most powerful qualities human beings possess and also one of the most powerful opportunities to improve another persons well being. It’s a small gesture that goes an extremely long way in helping people understand that they have made a difference. In schools a huge range of people make a significant difference every day and it’s this collective purpose that makes a school a great place to not only work but dedicate yourself to meaningful work; the least young people deserve. But how often to we say thank you? Probably not enough.
Over the last three weeks I’ve spent lunch duty talking to students about gratitude and asking if they would like to show gratitude towards a member of staff within the school. This was an idea I borrowed from Micheala school having seen some of the thank you notes from students to teachers, posted online. To capture this I put together a simple gratitude slip which I asked students to fill out. Some of the responses from students have been truly remarkable – they continue to surprise me everyday in the most amazing ways. Here’s a few examples:
In a final staff get together before breaking up for the Christmas holidays I’ll be handing out over 200 gratitude slips to staff from grateful students. It’s been a fascinating experience talking to students about who they would like to thank and why. It’s made me reflect on the many people I need to thank as a senior leader in the school but also in my life – my parents, siblings, friends, colleagues (who inspire and challenge me daily) and the remarkable teachers I had when I was at school.
Gratitude should not end with a few notes at the end of a busy term. Gratitude is the very essence of a purposeful life that should be the foundation of every school ethos.
To all the people that have helped, guided, challenged and supported me over the years – THANK YOU!