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How To Impact Students With A "Thank You"
Nothing characterizes the holiday season like generosity. This is the time of year when our students shower us with gifts or heartfelt cards and we, in turn, write them thoughtful thank you notes of appreciation. It seems like a yearly tradition for many of us. But what if that “tradition” was to change a little.
We’ve all heard it’s better to give than to receive, and many of us try to live by this principle. What if we “thanked” our students throughout the year and not only during the holiday season?
There are many ways a teacher can do this, however I want to share with you one SIMPLE way that will take very little time, yet produce a lasting impact for your students.
(I have provided a FREE printable at the end of the post to get you started)
Oh, The Holidays…
If you are an elementary teacher, middle school teacher, or even a high school teacher, you may find yourself getting gifts from your students this year. Whether those gifts are half opened bottles of cologne from their dads dresser, or a wonderful box of chocolates, they are all gifts that your students look forward to giving to you.
You may be in a situation where no gifts are given at all. This is not because the students didn’t want to, but rather possibly because they had no means in which to get you something.
Either way, this is the perfect time of year to say thank you to them, especially if they do not expect it!
4 Types Types of Teachers During The Holidays (and how they handle thank you notes)
The “Boy/Girl Scout”
This teacher is always prepared. They already have pre-printed thank you notes ready to go for anyone who gives him/her a gift. They hand them out immediately in exchange for the gift given… very efficient.
The “Note Taker”
This teacher is organized. This teacher writes down the name of every student who gives a gift or creates a spreadsheet so that no student is left “un-thanked.”
This teacher is a little scatterbrained. They tend to write down the names of students who give them gifts on random pieces of paper or a post it note. That list of names usually turns up again sometime in January when they are cleaning their desk, and the students get their thank you notes sometime in March.
This teacher is clever in their own mind. They tell the students they like to save the presents to open on Christmas Day so that they can think of them during the break. No thank you note is given because they know that by the time the students come back from break they won’t remember whether or not they got a thank you card in the first place.
Whether you identify with one of these categories, or possibly you are in a category all your own, the bottom line is that we should thank our students from time to time. They should know what it feels like to be appreciated, not only when they give gifts, but at different times throughout the year. As teachers, if we can get into the habit of appreciating our students often, we can cause a ripple effect that can impact them for years to come.
Imagine the difference you could make by simply thanking a student for doing a great job and for working hard. They would feel amazing, appreciated, and would most likely work even harder in your class. This simple act may be the one thing they need to put them on the right path.
An Easy Way To Thank Students Throughout The Year!
How amazing does it feel when you receive a thank you card? I know for me it makes me feel like the time I put in for someone else really mattered. The fact that they took time to think of me and thank me personally, makes my day and causes me to remember them always.
Why are we not doing this for students?
An easy way to show your students that they are appreciated would be to have a handful of “thank you” notes available, and ready to go, to give to them when you feel they deserve it. The notes should be eye catching (so they will want to display them on their locker or at home on the fridge) and should be given out sparingly to make sure they hold value.
Creating these notes can be time consuming, and buying them can cost quite a bit of money (if you purchase nice cards).
That is why I have created 20 post cards to get you started. Feel free to download and print them as many times as you like. This way you can have a stack of cards ready to go anytime you need them! I would recommend printing on card stock and in color if possible. Use them to make your students feel special.
Question: What other ways can teachers show their students that they are appreciated? Leave a comment by clicking here.