This week is “Stuff Teacher’s Like” week on Teaching Underground. We know the idea is “borrowed” from several other sites that have perfected the “Stuff____Like” model, but we haven’t seen anything out there from teachers. So, in no particular order, here it is.
“Thank You.” Simple words, but very powerful ones. How much does it say about a kid if they use them? I don’t think they are intentionally being rude or ungrateful but many students seem to have forgotten the function and benefit of those precious two words.
Most kids know they are supposed to say thank you, they just don’t. How sad is it that I actually notice when kids say “Thank You”? There’s the habit kind…like when you pass them a handout. That’s nice…says they were taught manners. A second type, when a kid looks at you and says it differently. Maybe walks a few steps as they read a paper or even stuff their backpack. They stop, turn back, looking you in the eyes and say, “Hey Thanks.” That’s meaningful.
When they make a special trip to your room and thank you for something you did for them that speaks volumes. Not about what you did, but about them. In a rare instance they will take the time to put those words into writing. I have received many of these in my years teaching. No matter the length nor what they are written on they are far too precious to discard and occupy a special drawer in my desk. They often arrive out of the blue when I am having a tough time. One of my favorites was brief but said the following: “Mr. L. you once told me I had the potential to be a really sharp young man…but I also had the potential to be a real idiot(paraphrased). I am now in college and am working hard to become the former and not the latter.” To the young man who wrote that note, “Thank You.”
Little gifts are thoughtful too so including those, what is the best “thank you” you ever got from a student?