Our lives are busy, challenging and each of us have different hurdles we must face. We have choices in life, and we each choose our perspective, mindset and how we respond to situations. An educator is a rewarding career but also very demanding as we pour so much of ourselves into others, yet rarely do we have the time and energy to do much for ourselves. We understand that it takes time and effort to help others as this gives us great satisfaction and serves our purpose. This takes long hours and endless pursuit to improve. It may not be easy, but we have that choice. I am THANKFUL to each of you for your role and how you contribute to schools and our society.
This blog post shares the importance of Gratitude and how that mindset provides the fuel for the inner drive for leaders and school communities. As a school leader – consider “what aspects do you take time to reflect and celebrate, with both your staff and you personally that moves your school forward”? Specifically, we will look at how you can build the mindset of Gratitude within your school and within your professional growth.
Gratitude within your school
The most important thing a leader should do is impart positive change within a school. This starts and always comes back to school culture. Within a school culture, if leaders can develop and foster an atmosphere of gratitude where everyone feels seen, valued and heard then staff and students will make their school experience their very best as they will have a vested interest. What we celebrate and how we celebrate others is important. From my perspective for our school, the celebration includes:
- The “intentional steps” our staff takes to transform our classroom instruction from a traditional model to creating engaging student experiences focused on ensuring high levels of learning for students.
- The school climate we have created is based on our interactions with each other through positivity and kindness that promotes a school community where students and staff feel they belong.
- A shared vision that is modeled by staff throughout the building that places an emphasis on “what is best for kids”.
- A strong partnership with the parent and school community that is established by being visible, accessible and communicating in a clear, consistent manner.
- Empowering our staff to help lead professional learning and be the change agents within our school.
- Creating opportunities for students to lead within our school day and giving students a voice in their school by listening to what they think is working and what needs changing so we can improve.
Most importantly, it is important to recognize that staff are willing to take risks and grow. This growth process at times means we fail or make mistakes, but we learn from our experiences and that opportunity gives us greater insight into becoming stronger educators. We have reflected with staff and this clarifies the importance we place on the work and focuses our journey with a shared vision.
Gratitude within your personal growth
Overall to move forward with your growth, at various levels you need to:
- Find a mentor who can push you and give feedback
- Build strong connections to those people who value you and make you better
- Develop others
- Change is the greatest growth accelerator – ask yourself what you need to change about your current learning and growth process. Recognizing what needs to change for your growth can best be identified through conversations with others.
How you show gratitude within your personal growth is to focus on what you can control by:
- Put others first and focus on the best in people
- Empower others to help make a difference
- Trust the people you work with….you hired them for a good reason – they are leaders too.
By using this mindset you are developing your influence and impact with others. This is how you grow as a leader and modeling servant leadership increases your role as a leader.
Leaders recognize that their efforts and work are important to a school. But to create the biggest gains, the leaders must have a mindset of gratitude and have that be the foundation of their work. Now is the time to make this shift in mindset and put intentional practices in place. This takes an investment of time, energy and effort and pouring into others. Educators must remember that nothing is easy. In fact, if you want to create a difference then you must be willing to not only lead yourself but pour into developing others and it starts with gratitude. This creates the greatest gift a leader can provide to an organization. It is never too late to change or adapt to create something better. We owe that to our students and staff that we serve. I encourage you to reflect and better understand “The impact of Gratitude” so you can leave your legacy. Comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org