Because this is the time of the year when I reflect on being thankful, I'd like to share a simple thing you can do that will help you get through the hard times in teaching. As with any profession, there are awesome days and there are difficult days. During those down days, it's good to have something to remind you why we do this thing called teaching, librarianship, & education.
It's Handy to Keep The Thanks Handy
I still love a manila folder! I keep the thank you notes from kiddos in a folder in my desk and it's labeled, Stuff from KIDS. But I also found it helpful to take a digital picture of the Thank you notes. too! Just in case of age, fire, zombies, you know....the usual. And to be able to look at them anytime I needed an emotional pick-me-up. That folder, on my Flickr gallery is called...Happy!
And Then BuzzFeed Found It
So, how cool is that?
11 Ways To Thank A Teacher
(Without Using An Apple)BuzzFeed musta been searching around the Flickr Creative Commons and found my Happy Note and used it in an article!
This whole topic of being grateful and thankful came back to my thoughts recently because of a wonderful email I got from my outstanding neighborhood Teen's Instructor, Sarah Cooke from our Lovely Savage branch Howard County Public Library.
WOW! This was so out of the blue unexpectedly Squee-worthy that I forwarded it to my Admin, my Media & Tech Supervisors, and my Mom!
Srsly, when you get something this important, this personally and professionally meaningful, don't be shy & humble, share it! Because this means as much or even more to me than a magazine or blog award!
Screenshot Those Happy Tweets!
Also, when you get a Happy Tweet, screenshot and save it!
When a Former Student Becomes a Teacher
Another amazing thing, is having your former students become teachers and contact you later. That is the BEST!
Above is a Tweet that made my eyes leak a bit and brought a big smile to my face! I taught the lovely and smart Erin for years in Guilford Elementary school (my first job!) then later in Middle School (her mom was our Admin secretary) and I got to see her grow up. Now she's a teacher and Tweeting! Does it get any better?
UPDATE: I DM'd her on Twitter about this post and found out that she's left teaching and going back to school for Cyber Forensics! I told her that All I have EVER wanted for her was to be happy & fulfilled. And that I will always be unconditionally proud of her no matter the position or profession. Either way, I was so lucky to have watched her grow up!
Erin's brother, Peter, is also a teacher in my district and the poor guy had me as his Librarian for 8 years! Elem AND Middle!
Sophia Berruz, I also taught for 5 years in Elementary School and is now a Technology teacher in my school district! Like Erin, Peter, and Ashleigh, she was one of those bright, whip-smart, unique students who are always remembered fondly. She is basically Amazing!
Hearing a kid, (now a grownup!) who you taught say that you helped inspire them to become a teacher? Does it get better than that?
Ashleigh is another amazing student, and a former MHTV producer, who got in touch with me via Twitter and now she's a Special Ed teacher in Montgomery County! I'm so proud of her! After she Tweeted me, I found her 8th grade school picture that I had kept for 14 years, took a pic of it, and made the graphic above. She was so thrilled and surprised that I still had it. Of course I did, because it makes me Happy!
When you get a nice message on YouTube - screenshot that, too!
Basically, all those wonderful scribbled notes, letters, presents,cards, Tweets, comments online, and emails - all which are fleeting and splendid, could be forgotten if you don't save them. I know this is a simple idea and one that you may have already thought of, but I want to encourage you to expand it, re-visit it, and celebrate it. I'm also risking sounding exceedingly self-congratulatory, but when it comes to thanks from kids and colleagues, this is not a time to be humble. Save them, savor them, and share them!
Consider for your future professional happiness - to always be thankful for the Thanks you get from your kiddos! And don't be shy sharing them with a principal, and your Mom & Dad. Consider also sharing this simple idea with new teachers...or anyone who needs a pick me up. Because some days will be daunting, it's remembering the kids whose lives you touched that will help you keep going! Remembering those days that are triumphant and thrilling that will give you the energy to smile and keep going. Why? 'Cause we have the BEST job in the world!
Being compared to Miss Frizzle on Instagram ain't so bad, either! LOL
Now It's Your Turn!
What was the best Thank You that you ever received?
What do you do to keep your spirits up during times that we're testing and tested? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
PS. Thanks to YOU!
Before I say goodbye for now and click UPDATE: Let me take time to thank you dear reader! I am also very grateful and humbled by your readership. In the early days of my blogging, really for years and years, I was writing to seemingly the aethernets, to the air,....and now anyone who visits and spends their valuable time here is truly appreciated. Thank you.
Have a great week friends!