The importance of saying thank you

Paul Boyd

Monday, 10 December 2018

As we head into the festive period, it’s all go go go! Schools are getting Christmas performances ready, some are doing mock exams, data deadlines are looming and trainee and NQT teachers will be submitting assessment portfolios.

On top of all that, we’re all doing our own thing in preparation for the holidays; present shopping, arranging trips and nights out etc.

So heading into the festive period, and before those New Year’s resolutions kick in, take the time to consider what it is you’re thankful for, and go tell those people responsible (including yourself!). For the moment, we’ll consider only within our work, but of course, you can do this for all areas of your life.

Maintaining a sense of gratitude, even when times are tough, is an important and sometimes overlooked well-being tool.


Often considered the preserve of new age pop psychology (how cynical!), practising gratitude actually brings with it a whole host of related benefits.

Firstly, it helps us to see what we have, not what we lack. We’re often so focused on attaining new skills or some benchmark in our work that we forget what we have accomplished or what we have access to in our schools and departments.

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Saying ‘thank you’ with specificity shows other people that you value their input and makes them feel appreciated. You may have a TA or LSA who does things every day making your life a bit easier, but through familiarity, you forget the importance of their contribution.

It could be a good time to acknowledge their efforts once again. Also, when working with new people, is it always a good idea to show your appreciation. Studies have shown that those who receive thanks from you are more likely to want to develop a more meaningful relationship with you and support you in your endeavours – it also feels like common sense, right?


"From an emotional and physical standpoint, the benefits are manifold. Regularly saying ‘thank you’ to others is known to improve mood and reduce aggression and stress."


It also improves general health as grateful people are more likely to take care of themselves physically, as well as emotionally.

So, find ways to express your thanks. If giving Christmas cards or gifts to colleagues, maybe add a thank you note with a specific thing you’re thankful for. On your way into work or on the journey home, take a few moments to make a mental or physical list of items that you appreciate within that day. Or even in form time or a PSHE lesson, you can get your students to join you in noting down whatever it is they might be thankful for – the list soon adds up!

I'd like to extend my thanks to you for reading this and wish you a very merry Christmas!

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About our Community Expert

 

Paul Boyd
Community Expert

Paul is an actor and English teacher from Northern Ireland. Alongside his acting career working in theatre, film and television across the UK, he also teaches in primary and secondary schools throughout London.

Paul provides performance coaching to both individual clients and businesses.

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