Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Thank You Notes for Teachers

One of the most powerful gifts a teacher can receive is a heartfelt, sincere note of appreciation. 

You hear this often around the time of teacher appreciation, and I think I often times dismiss this as "not a real gift."  Or something to go along with the real gift.  However, having been a teacher myself for a number of years now, I wholeheartedly believe this is truly the best gift you can give or receive.  That being said, here are some tips on writing these letters AND on whether or not this is the best gift in your situation!


First and foremost, can you be sincere in your note of appreciation.  If you are constantly having "words" with your children's teachers or always second guessing everything that is done in the classroom, think seriously about how a note of appreciation will come across.  This isn't to say you shouldn't write a note - sometimes that may be the most powerful way to tell them you think they are doing a great job in spite of your constant nagging!  But, don't write a note of appreciation if you can't put your entire heart into it.


When writing a thank you note of any kind, make sure you are specific in why you appreciate the gift or service you have received.  Don't just write blanket generic statements.  People want to know WHY you appreciate what you have given them, and what it means to you.  For teacher specific thank you notes, tell your teachers an interesting story your child shared with you about something that touched their lives in class.  Or, mention an act that occurred at home which you know stemmed directly from having been in the classroom with that teacher.


It might sound obvious, but don't just jump write into your accolades of the teacher.  Use his/her name.  Start the letter with Dear _________, 
When the teacher reads this note, it will make it even more personal.  You want the teacher to know you are talking/writing directly to him/her and not to teachers as a whole.


Obviously you are thanking this teacher for their role in your child's life and the things he/she has done specifically for and with your child.  However, make your note more personal by telling the teacher what he/she means to YOU, the parent.  This person is helping shape your child's life.  Tell your child's teacher just how important you find that job.


Yes, this was tip number 1, but it is what I want to leave you with as well because it truly is just that important.  A generic thank you note is really not that meaningful and probably a waste of most of the time you spent finding a notecard, writing it out, and remembering to get it to your child's teacher.  However, a sincere, heartfelt thank you note is by far the most powerful gift a teacher will receive.

And now I am off to write notes to my children's teachers!

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