How to Create an Atmosphere of Gratitude
During the month of November, I take time to reflect on how grateful I am for my family and my calling in life (my job as an SLP). I have a lot to be thankful for and I wanted to share on how you can spread this feeling into your home, your work life, and in your therapy room. It is easy to get caught up in busy schedules (family & work) or stressful job situations, but if you create an atmosphere of gratitude around you, you will be surprised how quickly it will spread!
Express gratitude to your family members. Notice the small things in your every day routines and go out of your way to thank your loved ones or point out an accomplishment. "Thank you for making your bed this morning" "Thank you for the wonderful dinner" "Your homework is so neat today!" Do this with your children, your spouse, and your extended family when you can.
Try going around the table at dinner and sharing one positive thing that happened that day. When my kids were little we liked to ask them what their favorite pare of the day was. Sometimes it's even the small things "My favorite part of the day is when you played Monopoly with me"
Volunteer as a family. I think it is important to teach gratitude through serving others. During the holidays you could volunteer at a food bank, a coat drive, or local church event.
Express gratitude to your co-workers. Thank the people who may not get thanked very much! You can do this in small ways by bringing them a coffee or sweet treat on a random day. You could also place a thank you note in their box if they went above and beyond for a student. A kind word or email also goes a long way. "I appreciate you."
Do a small favor for a friend. If you see a colleague stressed out to the max you could offer to make their copies that day when you go make yours. Something as simple as waiting a little longer to hold the door when you see someone with their hands full, could also brighten someone's day. I know everyone is busy, but giving just a moment of your time can make a lasting impact on someone else's day.
Shout Out Board: I shared on my Instagram the board someone started in our teacher's lounge. This board is an anonymous board where staff members can share positive notes about their co-workers. When I found the one pictured below, it really made my whole week! I was so proud that a teacher took the time to write that she noticed a student's speech was improving in the classroom. To this day I don't know which teacher or student it was about, but I am thrilled that carry over was recognized!
Greet your students everyday with a smile and tell them "I am happy to see you" or "I am glad you are here today." High fives go a long way with kids too.
Do a warm up activity where each student gets to share about something in their lives. Sometimes I ask them to tell me about their favorite things. Other times I ask them to share about their favorite part of the weekend. You could even ask them to all share about something they are thankful for. Kids love to talk about their lives and when you listen they feel loved!
Compliment a student when they are being polite or if they go out of their way to help someone. I have some students that will pick up a piece of trash for me across the room if they see it. Notice small things and point them out. This doesn't have to just be in your therapy room. If you notice one of your speech therapy students holding the door for their teacher after recess, give them a shout out next time you see them. If you happen to walk through the cafeteria and see your students following the rules, compliment them!
I hope you can implement some of these strategies to create an atmosphere of gratitude in your life. If you have any other ideas, let me know in the comments. Happy Holiday Season!
I found some free gratitude resources to download! Check them out