This time of year causes many people to look at things they are grateful for. The practice of gratitude is something we could use all year long, but a seasonal reminder isn’t always a bad thing. Gratitude is something that is a humbling experience for us teachers and, in turn, makes us even more effective leaders. Being grateful for your colleagues, your support team, and the young minds you shape, allows you to put things in perspective. Conveying your gratitude shows you respect those around you. It’s a nice feeling to express and just as wonderful to be on the receiving end. Here are a few ways to continue expressing gratitude long after the holiday season is over.

The little things count

Let those around you know what things, big or small, they have done for you that made a difference in your life. It only takes a second to do, but means so much. You also are explicitly telling someone else how they made your life easier and that feels pretty great for them.

Compliments never hurt

Give compliments to the people that deserve them. Provide encouragement to your colleagues and students in the form of a compliment. Let them know about a skill or trait that you find endearing. There is nothing like a compliment to boost morale and give someone that little extra push they may need.

Remain calm

Always remain calm in even the most stressful situations. Remaining calm shows your gratitude for them in a few ways. It shows you respect them and do not feel the need to berate them. It also shows that you trust them and understand that mistakes happen. How you react to a situation tells a lot about what you think of them.

Talk about more than work

Ask your students or colleagues about more than just schoolwork. You don’t need to ask big, hard hitting life questions to talk to some about their personal lives. Chatting about their weekend or something they are proud out outside of school goes a long way. By doing this, you show how grateful you are for them as more than just a student or coworker.

Don’t forget about yourself

You can’t neglect yourself! There are plenty of ways you can show gratitude to yourself. For instance, schedule an afternoon off just for yourself. Do things you love to do by yourself. It’s a good reminder to take care of yourself and also is a nice treat for all the hard work you do. Gratitude towards yourself does just as much good as giving it to others.