Teachers the world over enjoy feeling appreciated. Special weeks or days designed to celebrate you can provide a warm sense of being valued. In addition, random moments of appreciation that happen just “on the fly,” in the course of everyday life, can do the same. Being recognized or acknowledged for doing good work can light your fires, push you forward, give you energy and motivation. Margaret Cousins once said, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life…”
So how to retain that good, satisfied, affirmed feeling you get from being appreciated? Here are two things you can do to help you enjoy that energy much longer and to utilize it to help you through tough days:
One: Be aware! Realize that appreciation comes to you in various ways.
Special Times like Teacher Appreciation Week / Teacher Appreciation Day
This year, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12, with Teacher Appreciation Day falling on May 9. Schools often conduct special events to celebrate you during this time, and both students and their parents may bring in gifts and cards to express appreciation. Your desk may fill with kind words and special gifts, treasures of all sorts this week – how fun is that? This Teacher Appreciation Day, embrace the appreciation, choose to be fully present, own it! Click To Tweet This is you being valued for all those beautiful things you’ve done for your students that maybe no one else even knows about. Receive and store all those good things in a warm, nurturing place inside you.
Appreciative messages from students and their parents that come zinging in “on the fly”
Set an internal alert for that affirmation at random moments. Then take time to intentionally, mindfully sloooooow down and savor the moment right when it happens.
ALERT!:) A parent thanks you for taking time with their child when you see them in the hallway. Stop right there and breathe that in. Let it soak into your soul! Look them in the eye and smile. Don’t deflect the compliment, or downplay your worthiness of being appreciated – just accept it. A simple “thank you” to the giver will be enough for them to know you hear them, you see their heart – and you receive their gift of appreciation. And remember: Taking time to accept appreciation validates the giver, too!
ALERT!:) Yes, you’re not imagining it – you can read between the lines when that child just beams at you as he “gets it!” – that smile translates into him appreciating you and your teaching skills and your heart of caring and love – soak it in! Smile back so he knows you “got” his message.
Two: Now you’ve got to store it up. Make the memories last.
You have a little internal storehouse of those expressions of appreciation. You can feed this part of your soul any time you choose – if you also build an external storage place for that gratitude from others. That way, you can always draw on these reminders of validation.
Find a suitable container to keep the actual goodies in – a big expandable folder, a special box, a pretty basket. Label it clearly, and keep it close. Build on it with Teacher Appreciation Day memorabilia from year to year.
Take a Picture – take all those cards, and scribbled notes of thanks, and little “teacher gifts” you receive during Teacher Appreciation week, any award certificates, etc. – spread them out on your desk, and if you have a camera, shoot a picture of them. File it in a digital or hard-copy file labeled something like: “I’m Appreciated! Yes, I am!” You might take a separate, special picture of especially meaningful items.
Keep a Journal of “Random Moments of Being Appreciated” for your teaching efforts. When any compliment, or a thank-you, or a wonderful smile communicates APPRECIATION to you, take a minute to write it in your journal. Write down exactly what they said and did – and also write what it meant to you, what it encourages you to do, why it was important right then. Keep this Journal up-to-date, and keep it handy!
Know where these affirmations live – in digital files, on your desk, or classroom shelves. Keep them ready to be grabbed or accessed at a moment’s notice, on those days when skies are dark, when hope is hard to find, and when exhaustion whispers at you to give up the fight for helping children learn. Pull out that journal and let those you’ve served so well light your fire once again.Mindfully storing tokens of appreciation can make your day... or change your life. Click To Tweet
At ClassTag, we know that you are shaping young minds and changing their trajectory in life everyday. We value and appreciate you and love being a little part of what you do so magically! THANK YOU! 🙂