If you’ve read my blogs this year, and have kept up with the Wylie Way initiatives throughout the district, you know that gratitude plays a huge role in the development of our core values and the standards we set for ourselves and for our students. On a day-to-day basis, I make a concerted effort to show gratitude towards the people around me. I love my job. But, without the support and hard work of Wylie ISD employees and stakeholders, I could not be successful. That will never be lost on me.
“Vinson Level Effort” (VLE) is a phrase I created for my own kids. I needed a way to teach them about the importance of grit and determination when working to achieve specific goals. I wanted to explain that, with a little extra effort, they could make a huge difference in school and in life.
Last night, my own kiddo was recognized by her peers as "most improved" on the team. This recognition means so much to me because it validates what we are teaching at home. Kate showed VLE and I am grateful for her effort and the amazing coaches that support her, school and teammates she loves.
This battle cry is now tattooed on notes and papers throughout our house and serves as a reminder of the dedication that must be devoted to tasks and responsibilities. Over the years, I’ve come to find that VLE does not only exist between the walls of the Vinson home—it thrives in our district, too.
Each week, I publicly recognize folks in the district for giving “Vinson Level Effort” and express my gratitude for their hard work. It’s one small way that I can show appreciation to others—it’s the least I can do.
To help me stay conscious of the greatness that circulates around me, I summarize the recognitions on cards and tape them to my wall behind my desk. I have written 297 notes so far this year. When I look at them, I am reminded of the many people who help to make Wylie ISD what it is today. I am reminded of how lucky I am.
Kathleen Carver is a teacher from Wylie East High School. Recently, Kathleen and her students put together this video reminding fellow Raiders to be grateful. It’s a great representation of the kind of kids we are raising in our school district. It certainly shows “Vinson Level Effort” and makes me proud. We want our Wylie ISD kids to be grateful and celebrate the wonderful things around them that make them happy, hopeful, and engaged. When they take it upon themselves to share the message of hope and gratitude, it helps me to know that we are making a difference. It really doesn’t get better than that.
From now until the end of school, Wylie ISD will focus on the core value of GRATITUDE. Wednesday, April 18, will serve as our official “Wylie Way Day of Gratitude” and will give all students and staff members the opportunity to reflect on the gratitude they possess for those around them. This is our chance to be grateful. You don’t have to create a video or make some grand gesture of appreciation. However, recognizing someone for showing extra effort, simply realizing we live in a great place with great kids, or sending a note to someone who made a difference in your life can make a huge impact. It doesn’t take much time or effort, but it can certainly make the day of the important people in our lives.
I truly believe we are the community that we want to be and that our actions prove who we are as people—our servant hearts beat strong. Please take a moment to recognize the things that make this life so special, and ask your kids to do the same. If we each show gratitude for just one special act, between parents, students, and staff, we will potentially initiate fifty thousand acts of gratitude. Wouldn’t that be outstanding?
Thank you for the work you do in modeling the core value of gratitude in your homes and in our community. Because of you, we are making a difference. Because of you, we are changing the world.