Gratitude at work #SOL19 5/31

Today’s post was inspired by Tammy over at Tammy’s Reading/Writing Life. Her gratitude list felt like just the right way to start a day. 

What I am grateful for at work

I am grateful that my English department colleagues are some of the smartest and most well-read people I have ever worked with and that they offer students a wide range of ways to approach texts.

I am grateful for raucous, hilarious lunchtime conversations about everything from Hamlet to hell-raising.

I am grateful that we have a kitchen in the English office, and I’m grateful to the custodian for giving us a cast-off round table a few years ago so that everyone can sit around talking at lunch and to a department that welcomes all comers – especially supply teachers (Canadian for “substitute teachers) and those new to the school.

I’m grateful for the freedom to teach my class in ways that are supported by research but which are new to me. I’m grateful that my administration and my department trust me enough to let me try new ways to encourage growth in our students.

I am grateful that our librarian is incredibly enthusiastic about books and reading, that she shares the library with me all the time, lets my class have first dibs on new arrivals, will work with my struggles one-on-one and generally supports my crazy literacy ideas

I’m grateful for a principal who loves to talk pedagogy, who believes that relationships are what make education, and who always – even when he drives me crazy – starts with the question, “will it help the students learn?”.

I’m grateful for vice principals who demonstrate respect for the students they encounter – and who are effective and supportive.

I’m grateful for a partner teacher in Spec Ed (Canadian for Special Education) who is committed, dynamic and visionary.

I’m grateful that the EAs (educational assistants) are some of the best I’ve ever worked with: smart, funny, and deeply focused on our students.

Good heavens, I am realizing that I’m grateful to work with so many amazing people -and I can’t possibly enumerate them all here (but I’ll start): our head custodian who provides laughter and counsel, our office staff who are ridiculously competent and have the best Halloween costumes, our Guidance Dept who are tirelessly supportive of students, our IT support who is constantly on the go & saving our bacon, my colleagues who share complaints & compliments freely. I feel like I could write whole posts about person after person.

I’m grateful for the dynamism that is generated by the Arts programs. Our school is full of kids dancing down the hallway, singing in the stairwells, painting on the walls (sanctioned!). I’m grateful for the student performances that inspire: music, dance, words and images permeate our every day. And I”m grateful to the teachers for providing the structure and the time to make that happen.

I’m grateful that our school actively works to make spaces for all sorts of students – physically disabled, talented in the arts, behavior challenged, gay, trans, LD, newcomers to Canada, kids from down the street. We take our commitment to welcoming all very seriously.

I’m realizing as I write that what it comes down to is that I am grateful for a team of people who believe deeply in the potential of all of our students and who hold each other up as we strive to offer our students the best that we can.


18 thoughts on “Gratitude at work #SOL19 5/31

  1. Gratitude (and writing about gratitude) makes us even more grateful! So glad you posted this. I need to get back to thinking about all the things I’m grateful for too. I’m sure your colleagues are grateful for you too.


  2. This is a primer for how to design a school. We have moments such as those you describe, but not a consistent school culture. There is a cultural divide I don’t think will ever be breached. And we don’t have an English office or kitchen.


  3. What a great gratitude list! It is great to hear about so many great things that are happening at your school!

    I keep a daily gratitude list in my Writer’s Notebook. It keeps me grounded.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m noticing how grounded your gratitude is in the people who share your community at all levels and from all corners. People give our organizations life and purpose and surprisingly this can be forgotten in the rush to insure accountability through policy and procedure. Your list reminds us of all the things that make it worth our while to continue to invest in the communities we inhabit.


  5. Lovely post. Writing down what we are grateful for is so powerful. It helps to realign our thinking, I think, as we have a tendency (or I do at least) to “complain” more than talk about what is good in life and the world around us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How awesome! It’s nice that you have so many things to be grateful for at work. Some people struggle to think of one thing each day! Our custodian is the person I am most grateful for (he’s so good to my children!) and I am always glad that I can enjoy a fun, laughter-filled lunch with friends every day. I want to see pictures of the painted walls at your school.


  7. Do you have any openings?? Wow. Sounds like a dream. Makes me really miss working at my former school, where those lunches were raucous and fun and made for a whole lotta bonding, “work family”-style. I’m off to do some gratitude-searchin’ right now. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

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