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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

I imagine I’ve talked about gratitude more than once during my days of posting for this blog, but that won’t stop me from doing it some more! I’m using this particular opportunity to share ways you can show your gratitude to teachers. This week marks the time we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, an opportunity to show this dedicated group of people how they’ve changed your life.

I am sure there were a few gifts along the way from my days in the classroom- a necklace, some perfume- but the ones that touched me the most then were the hand written notes and pictures. For a student to take the time to write down how you’ve changed their life- no less a TEENAGE student- was quite heartwarming. I still have nearly every note a student ever gave me, because they mean so much. Some teachers keep a file that just has positive notes in it so they can read them on those days that they aren’t feeling like they’re reaching anyone.

We shouldn’t have to wait for an officially designated time to say thank you- like it’s just a Hallmark holiday that people feel forced into recognizing because of social pressure. Gratitude should be a part of our everyday existence. It helps one gain so much perspective on life when, instead of grumbling about how frustrated we are, we can try and find the lesson in the experience, and be grateful for it.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting on a response from an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in years. I was sharing my frustration that the friend hadn’t written me back with another friend. She politely pointed out that not everyone runs around with their calendar at the ready to schedule everything, as I do. I was so appreciative of her giving me that perspective that I told her later, after I’d had time to digest what she said and how I could respond. It would have been easy for me to get offended and respond immediately – and even negatively- to her assessment, but this time I didn’t. (I can’t say I’m always so patient though!)

Some of you might have already seen this on Facebook, but it’s worth sharing again here. There is a page called Letters of Gratitude (click here to try it out) where you can click a link and add your favorite teacher to the list of Outstanding Teachers. It also shares your action with the person you chose, if you have an email for them.

That’s just one easy way you can show gratitude to the teachers you appreciate. I hope you’ll take the time this week to say thank you to them in any way. When it seems like you aren’t making a difference, those comments and notes remind the teacher that he has made a difference, and will again.

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