It’s that time of the year. Time to finish projects, thank teachers, wrap up school details… and everything else that comes with good ole glorious May.
I sit here wondering, why does “thanking my teachers” fall on a quick to do list? When it could be one of the most important things I do all year? These amazing people have spent almost the same amount of time investing in my child as I did this year.
I am guilty of jumping on the quickest, easiest solution to get it (thank the teacher) off my list. I’ve been guilty of getting it done and missing the entire point. I’ve been guilty of spending more time on the cute gift (you know the Pinterest search “teacher thank you gift”) than the grateful genuine words expressed. I’ve been guilty of jumping on the group gift so fast so I can literally cross it off the list.
Today, I just spent a few extra minutes thinking about teachers.
I tried to put myself in their shoes for just a minute.
What would make me feel appreciated at the end of the year? What gift would be meaningful? What would send a message to me that parents notice and students care?
I thought about so many things I adore and respect about teachers…
They are never paid enough.
They are never thanked enough.
They never get enough vacation.
They work behind the scenes and rarely get the credit for the daily wins.
They are spread thin emotionally and physically.
They are doubted and pushed and challenged.
They are asked to sacrifice their own family for others.
So here is my plan this year. I’m going to tell my teachers. Their work is worth it. They are making a difference.
- Mrs. Cantrell – I remember 2nd grade vividly. You made a difference with your smiles and hugs. You made a difference – because you made me feel loved.
- Roger Myrick – You made me believe I could make in a career in public relations. Thank you for peaking my interest at Auburn University in more than your class. You made a difference because you helped me see into my future and believed in me.
- Coach Lee – You brought the fun and discipline. You showed me both were important. You were a trusted leader in our high school and exactly the kind of human I’ve strived to be. You are still impacting kids like me to dream big. You made a huge difference.
- Mrs. Jones – You let us in during your deepest sorrow. You showed us that teachers were human and letting us love on you taught me so much about trust and loyalty and faith. We are a team for each other. I’d drive over right now for you and know you’d do the same for me. You made a huge difference – because your vulnerability taught me strength.
- Mrs. Mendez – You have loved Larson during a tough physical year. Thank you for teaching her to press through and stick through it. You made a difference in her confidence in reading. Thank you.
- Mrs. Barker – Your joy for the Lord oozes out of your heart and eyes and right into the heart of my child. Thank you for believing in her and cheering her on. You made a difference in a girl that needed someone in her corner this year. Thank you.
Teachers. Please know. You make a difference every day. You gives parents sanity. You change the future of children. You bring confidence. You open minds. You offer hope. You provide security and love during some of our kids toughest seasons. You see things we often cannot see. You show them the hands and feet of Jesus. You make all of us believe more in ourselves. I hope just for today you feel appreciated, adored, respected and honored. I hope you feel seen and noticed. I hope someone slows down long enough to pat you on the arm with encouragement – vs pull you aside for criticism.
To all the parents in a rush like me… would you join me in simply encouraging all our teachers in May with notes of thanks?
Every teacher deserves a SINCERE note of thanks. Whether they were your favorite one ever or not. We all have great years and hard years with our kids. And I have been challenged to think of the teacher’s perspective and not just my child. They don’t have an easy road in that classroom.
Write to your kids’ teachers.
Have your kids write their teachers.
Go back to find your old teachers.
There are no rules – just join me in making a difference in the lives of these great humans with our words. And GIFTS ARE AWESOME! Let’s load them up with those too. In fact, yes, give them a large wad of cash please or all the gift cards in your town – just start with the note. Let’s get that right first. Words last a lifetime.
Don’t forget the power of the handwritten note. Don’t forget the power of SPECIFIC reasons of WHY they made a difference.
Words stick. Kids are watching.
Let’s model GRATITUDE for our kids by showing our sincere appreciation for individuals who have done so much for us.
Teachers, you have always made a difference.