Front Side of Note
Sometimes, all it takes is a little unexpected token of appreciation to lift our spirits and brighten our day. I recently found a note from my daughter tucked into a notebook in my work bag. Ever the artist, she drew me a beautiful winter picture and added a brief note on the back: I hope you feel better. Battling the ever-lasting winter cold, she knew that I might need a pick me up as I headed into work. She was right. And it worked. Just a few weeks earlier, I found a sticky note tucked to a cabinet in the kitchen. My son’s heartfelt “Thank you” for our family game night was incredibly touching and drove home the power that such a personal note of appreciation and thanks can hold.
Back Side of Note

What if we made it a habit to leave unexpected notes of appreciation to those that matter most to us? What if we took a few moments to remind them they are valued, are appreciated and that we care about them? While this is certainly essential in our personal life, it has the potential to transform our professional lives as well. Imagine how the teachers we work with would feel if we left them a simple, yet unexpected note of thanks or appreciation? Imagine how they might feel to receive a note ‘just because’? Every time I look I my saved ‘love notes’ from my family, those feelings race back again and are long-lasting. Imagine if we cultivated those same feelings of happiness in the school and classroom? I bet there would be a tangible shift in the energy in the building. 

Here are a few ways to get started:

Leave a card of thanks after working with a teacher. Thank her for her teaching, for her willingness to work with you to elevate instruction and for her dedication to her students. I received this Christmas card filled with appreciation from a literacy coach that I work with and was touched by the personalization of it. It continues to hang on my office wall. 
Create notes of happiness for no reason at all. Simply thank teachers for all they do or write a positive affirmation for teachers to carry with them throughout the day.

Nestle surprises in unexpected places. Sneak a note of appreciation to a magazine in the teachers’ lounge, tape a smiley face to the back of a classroom door or write a backwards message to tape to the bathroom wall across from the mirror for an unexpected surprise. 

For me, the power of the note comes in the handwritten personalization of it. Knowing that someone took the time to personally recognize, thank or appreciate the work that I did is indescribable. I mattered that much to take the time for. These small acts of appreciation appeal to our emotions and create a more connected community. As teachers reap the effects of your actions, they are certain to pay it forward to their students and make their schools a better place to teach and learn together.

Stephanie
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