What do Teachers REALLY want?
It is that time of year when many of us are thinking of how to honor our teachers. The school year is almost over! Can you believe it? My kids only have a week more!
It is our tradition that we give our teachers a little something to say thank you. I’d like to say that it is all from the heart and that I hand make something special for each of them.
Typically, I panic because I have forgotten and I’m running around picking up gift cards from Target at the last minute. I slap a “Love, The Dickinsons” on it and send it to school.
So heart felt, right?
I happened to be talking to a friend about his wife’s favorite teacher’s gifts. She is a Special Ed teacher in town (so is my mother). I was really looking for “a Barnes and Noble gift card” or “homemade cookies” but he didn’t bite. He told me she likes to be appreciated with a note – her efforts recognized by a sincere letter.
Imagine that! Exactly what anyone wants. Just to be recognized and appreciated.
I care more about what my husband writes in the card attached to the gift, so I completely understand. We all want to hear how we have helped someone. Not just “you are great, thanks” but a real account of what they have done to make a difference. It makes perfect sense since teachers are not in it for the money! They are in it for the satisfaction of doing a good job.
So, I didn’t get to write a post today because I was busy writing letters to all of my teachers. This has been an especially good year for all of my kids and a perfect time to reflect on all of the wonderful changes.
Who had probably one of the best years? You will never guess…Dalai Daniel! That kid is a handful and most teachers don’t know what to do with the little rascal. God bless these teachers, though, because he tried his darndest to make them despise him. But, he couldn’t do it and the results were…beautiful.
I dedicate this post to all the amazing teachers out there who give so much of themselves to their students. Not for money or status, but for pure love and the hope of making a difference in a child’s life. Thank you!
Dear Ms. Fate and Mrs. Waller,
Thank you so much for an amazing year! I have watched Daniel mature and blossom more this year than any other.
Having four kids, I have been able to observe how each child has a unique experience depending on their development, their peers and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, their teachers! Some are better fits than others, and this year is one of those magical fits.
Daniel is a different kind of kid and I love what makes him different – even his “challenging” parts! His temper, his competitiveness, his stubborn side, go hand in hand with his humor, intelligence and quick wit. As much as I want to kill him sometimes, I want to cry from laughing at some of his hilarious comments. His “complicated” nature could have thrown you off, but it didn’t, and you managed to draw out some of his best sides.
When he first come to your class, he tested you by pulling out all the stops. He was going to challenge you with anything he could think of. Remember the parachute incident when he refused to participate because he thought it was for babies? Or the time he was caught teaching the other kids how to “fake” flip people off with their ring finger? Or how at the beginning of the year he refused to engage or participate with the class, always sitting on the outskirts?
He was just feeling out the waters. Some teachers would have been so thrown off, they would have missed what he was really looking for: praise, appreciation, acceptance and understanding. You all managed to see past it, and gave him special “tasks” after he was finished so he felt helpful and needed. You acknowledged his swift work which made him feel smart. You laughed at his humor which made him feel loved.
It showed. I noticed it at home. He was lighter, happier, and more confident. Seeing as he spends more time during the day with you than me, I want to say THANK YOU. You have made a huge difference!
Here is to next year! May you make a difference in another child’s life like you did Daniels. And may Daniel have as great of mentors as he did this year :)