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Simple Acts of Appreciation Go a Long Way

May 11, 2010

By: Amanda Spice
Key Club Communications Specialist

Teacher Appreciation Day was May 4, 2010. As the mom to two small kids in daycare, I am embarrassed to admit that this day of acknowledgement completely passed by without me doing anything to show appreciation to the loving and thoughtful people who care for my two children every day. Once I discovered that Teacher Appreciation Day came and went without my knowledge, I thought to myself, “Oh, well, I’ll try to remember to do something thoughtful for them next year.”

In my professional career I have had the opportunity to plan many events, so I’ve often experienced first hand the truth of the saying that "No news is good news."  Simply put, this means if we didn’t receive any feedback about our event, people probably had a good time.  Thankfully though, this isn't always the case. 

The most memorable program evaluation I received was for an event I planned for 200 girls in elementary school. On a warm October day a few years ago, the girls learned about making butter and got to eat some that they made on tasty cornbread mad over a fire, they heard stories, made a craft and played games for about 4 hours at camp. This was a yearly event and I’d planned and participated in it many times. On this day though, I got an evaluation that said in a child’s handwriting, in purple crayon, “This was the best day of my life. I love you.” This one evaluation from one of the hundreds of events I’ve planned sticks out because it meant so much to one girl.

After this reflection, I realized I don’t need a date written on the calendar to show appreciation to my children’s teachers. I can do it today, tomorrow or any day and it will be just as impactful as it would have been on Teacher Appreciation Day. It will make them feel good for all their hard work and difficult days spent dealing with a room full of toddlers.

 So, here’s what I’m going to do now:

  • First, I’m going to tell the teachers at daycare that I appreciate them.
  • Second, I’m going to tell the teacher who my two-year raves about all the time, that she raves about her all the time. My son is only one, so he isn’t raving about his teachers yet, but when he does, I’ll tell them too.
  • Third, I’m going to e-mail a note to their school that tells the director what a wonderful job my husband and I think that Audrey and Ben’s teachers are doing and how much I appreciate their hard work. I’m going to give a copy of the note to the teachers as well, so they know that my husband and I appreciate them.

Since I’ve never expressed to them how I feel about their work, I’ll stop there for now. However, I’m going to challenge myself to showing my kids’ teachers appreciation once every three months for the next year. I’m going to bring a snack in to school, make a craft with my children for them, buy a special card, just something to let them know that they are special, they are making a difference, and they are positively impacting my child. 

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