By Teachers, For Teachers
We all know that you work hard throughout the school year. But although you could take a serious amount of credit for the successes you’ve enjoyed thus far, you’d have to admit that there is no small sum of people who have supported you along the way. This is the perfect time of year to pause and reflect on how grateful you may be for others who may have supported, contributed to, or aided in your efforts to make this school year a great one.
Just about every activity going on at the school, big or small, runs through the fingers of your school’s secretaries. They know what’s going on, are super organized, and always seem to know the answers to your questions. Any organization – but especially schools – depends heavily on the know-how of their secretaries. Show them you appreciate their contributions!
Custodians are the unsung heroes of the schoolhouse. All those messes we and our students leave, all those disasters in the hallways and bathrooms, all those art projects gone wrong, are cleaned up by this trusty crew. If there’s something needing cleaning, fixing, or delivery, the custodial crew has got it covered. It’d be difficult to imagine what life would be like without this team managing the building behind the scenes!
Those fellow teachers you see every day may deserve a lot of credit for the contributions they’ve made this school year. Who can number what they’ve done in your life over the years you may have worked together? From sharing great lessons to great jokes, from building a relationship to encouraging you to be a better version of yourself, from exposing their professional and personal sides of life, these people have directly impacted who you are -- hopefully for the better!
He or she is the boss – the big dog. They’re at the top of the show and manage the big issues related to education. You might not always know what they’re up to, but when it comes to the public, the school board, the law, the evaluations, and the general leadership, they carry these heavy weights on their shoulders. They take care of those big issues so that you can focus on taking care of the most precious items in the school: The students.
Your students themselves deserve a reasonable token of your gratitude as well. After all, we’re here for them, right? Maybe they’ve been working hard, been making improvements, or just been good to work with over the past few months. What do you appreciate about your students? Focus on the positives and show them what you appreciate about them!
6.Your Students’ Parents
Some parents are distant, and others are over-involved. But some parents know what’s going on and have contributed enormously as a partner in their child’s education. Show parents how you appreciate the role that they play in making your job of educating their child a little bit more impactful!
If this applies to you, then you know how important it is to have an understanding family that “gets” how much you want to give to your profession. Every moment you sacrifice to pay attention to other people’s children is a moment that your family equally sacrifices. Few individuals may be more deserving of your extra appreciation than those who help you achieve success as a teacher from supporting you at home!
At the end of the day, don’t forget about numero uno. You’ve been working hard, you’ve been putting up with failures as well as enjoying successes. You’ve been thinking, growing, trying new things, stretching yourself, and doing your best to pour into other people’s lives. While you should definitely focus this season on who else has helped you become effective, it’s no crime to look in the mirror every once in a while and tell yourself, “Nice job.”
So take advantage of the spirit of the season and think through who has been especially helpful in making your year a success. Target those people and give them the credit they deserve! What’s nice about this kind of attitude is that it works both ways: The more credit and appreciation you show to others, the more they begin showing it to you and one another!
Who do you appreciate this year? Share with us the tricks and advice you have for how we should show that appreciation!
Jordan Catapano is an English teacher at Conant High School in a Chicago suburb. In addition to being National Board Certificated, he also sits as the District Leader for the Illinois Association of Teachers of English and serves as a school board member for a private school. You can follow him on Twitter at @BuffEnglish, or visit his website ACTWritingTips.com.