Did you #ThankATeacher yet this week?
Today, Tuesday, May 3 is National Teacher Day!
It’s also National Teacher Appreciation Week, so you still have time to share your gratitude through Friday, May 6.
The National Education Association (NEA) and National PTA are partnering this week for several teacher-appreciation initiatives, including a social media campaign with the hashtag #ThankATeacher.
Who will you thank? Think broadly!
Childhood teachers often have the most formative and lasting impact on us, but they’re not the only ones. Teachers help us grow at every stage of life, help us discover what we’re good at and give us a nudge us when we’re struggling. The teachers you thank this week could also include an especially amazing workplace mentor or inspiring author or researcher in your field. You could even thank the neighbor who taught you how to fix your car, make great lasagna or plant a garden!
Teacher appreciation really does make a difference. Read on for ideas on how to celebrate National Teacher Day and to find out why teacher appreciation isn’t just a nice thing to do but an important key to good luck, generosity and success.
The Impact of #ThankATeacher
Many students don’t realize until later how much a teacher helped them. As a result, teachers often feel under-appreciated. Be the student who remembers to say Thank You, even if it’s years later!
Any teacher will appreciate knowing how much their efforts mean to you. They’ll love hearing about everything you’ve accomplished with the education they gave you. They’ll feel respected and valued.
Thanking someone for what they’ve taught you is one of the most meaningful, powerful types of gratitude anyone can receive.
Teacher appreciation also has a ripple effect with a powerful influence beyond the recipient. In The Atlantic this month, Robert H. Frank reflects on the role gratitude plays in luck and generosity — on the individual and societal level.
We’re better off when we attribute our success to external factors as well as internal factors, according to Frank. In other words, it’s fine to congratulate ourselves for the hard work that helped get us where we are, but we become happier and more generous people when we also recognize factors beyond our control, such as luck, supportive spouses, thoughtful teachers and financial aid.
Frank points to several studies that show a direct link between gratitude and increased generosity and kindness.
“Taken together, the research suggests that when we are reminded of luck’s importance, we are much more likely to plow some of our own good fortune back into the common good,” he writes.
His conclusion — that gratitude has the power to shift our thoughts and actions — is worth quoting in full:
“Economists like to talk about scarcity, but its logic doesn’t always hold up in the realm of human emotion. Gratitude, in particular, is a currency we can spend freely without fear of bankruptcy. Indeed, if you talk with others about their experiences with luck, as I have, you may discover that with only a little prompting, even people who have never given much thought to the subject are surprisingly willing to rethink their life stories, recalling lucky breaks they’ve enjoyed along the way. And because these conversations almost always leave participants feeling happier, it’s not hard to imagine them becoming contagious.”
When you #ThankATeacher this week, you’re setting into motion a chain of gratitude that will having a lasting impact on your teacher, yourself and your community.
#ThankATeacher Ideas — Say Why You’re Grateful!
Be sure to use the hashtag #ThankATeacher to share on social media how you’re celebrating National Teacher Day and National Teacher Appreciation Week. Here are three quick ideas courtesy of the NEA on ways to thank the teachers in your life using the #ThankATeacher hashtag:
- Post a picture of yourself with your favorite teacher, past or present.
- Post a picture of your child with his or her teacher.
- Post a picture of yourself holding a piece of paper with a simple, handwritten message of appreciation to a teacher and one reason you’re grateful.
Supplement your thanks with a small gift or handwritten note that you deliver personally, if possible. KidLit TV has Pinterest-worthy ideas for gifts and cards.
However you’re sharing your #ThankATeacher, be sure you’re specific about why you’re grateful to each particular teacher. How did the teacher help you find success? Are you still using the skills the teacher taught you? How have you passed along the knowledge you acquired?
Need a little #ThankATeacher inspiration? Read this open letter to a former teacher by communications strategist Becky Ericson: “You ignited a spark in me.”
Want to Experience the Power of Gratitude In Your Workplace?
Download our free eBook “Transform Your Workplace With Gratitude” for practical advice on recruiting and retaining a great workforce, increasing profits and building a sustainable culture of gratitude.
About gThankYou, LLC
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