Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Gratitude improves relationships." (30 Day Blogging Challenge #9)

Today's prompt:

What is one way you could develop an Attitude of Gratitude in your classroom or school? 

In the article, 11 Tips for Instilling True Gratitude in Your Kids, readers are reminded that "Gratitude improves relationships."  Having experienced this first-hand, I'd like to share small ways that one school is doing just that.

In the middle school where I most recently worked under a one-year contract, faculty and staff were encouraged to post weekly updates to a shared Google Doc, identifying ways that students, faculty, and staff had exemplified caring, assertion, respect, empathy, and self-control  (CARES) at school and during extra-curricular activities. The weekly shout-outs were then projected onto a television screen in the hallway outside of the main office, sent home in a weekly parent newsletter, and shared via Google+.  Students in the building really appreciated this gesture and would be delighted to see their names flash across the screen.  

The administrators at this school also encouraged teachers to send home "CARES" postcards, addressed to individual students, letting them know that something they had done had been recognized and was appreciated.  Designed by a student, these blank postcards were located in the office, making it easy to send home notes of gratitude.

Another thing that was done that significantly contributed to the positive climate in the building was that all faculty meetings started with teachers and administrators taking time out to recognize and show appreciation to one another.  Anyone could stand up and offer a shout-out, and the words of affirmation were specific and heart-felt.  

Although my time at Browns River Middle School was short, I remain grateful for the time I was part of their close-knit team.

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