Random Instagram DMs and Teacher Appreciation

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week all across the USA, perhaps in other places too. *Thanks to my readers throughout the world!

Despite the many ways teachers are shown appreciation, one still stands out the most. Student Testimonials. As someone who spends most days working with teachers, I rarely get these…BUT

Last week, I received a **random Instagram DM from a student…

Hello! This might seem a little strange as it is very late night/early morning but I have gone down a rabbit hole of Middle School Memories and one of them was TomeCon 2018. I had the opportunity to come up and shake a tambourine for a song we all made as a group. I still have one of your CD’s. I just wanted to reach out and say you’ve were a big inspiration to me and music and were one of the first people to get me out of my comfort zone during a difficult time in my life. I thank you.

Geez, I got juiced up from this. Like, I could have ran an extra mile from my usual weekly routine, Clydesdale style. And it hit differently than the feedback I get from adults. I don’t know why. It’s a different type of appreciation. A kind of “my life is altered” because of something you did type of appreciation. If you’ve ever received a note like this, then you know what I’m talking about. If not, and you’re struggling to find the silver lining in a dumpster fire, and “appreciation” seems like a foreign concept in your place of work, I’m sorry. Everyone needs to feel appreciated and respected. From now on, that’s tattooed on every presentation I ever give students. They need to know the power of their words…not just the bad ones. 😉 Regardless of our current levels of appreciation, we can also model this powerful feedback by letting others know how they have effected us. Perhaps we can start some type of movement, like when people start paying for each other’s food in the McDonald’s drive thru.

Tell someone why they are important to you. Today might be the day that they need it the most.

Want to hear more about the impact you are having on students’ lives?  Schools need a way to collect this feedback…kind of like a “ring the bell” if your service was good after eating at Arbys. Ha. This can be a Google Form, or a QR code that’s posted throughout the building. I suggest requiring student email login so nothing is done anonymously.

PS: This Instagram DM reminded me of something else. It was not the fancy Google Slide show that I spent hours on. This student was NOT moved by my advanced degree or professional terminology…It was a tambourine that I probably slipped in my backpack last minute.

Never underestimate the power of fun and student-centered creativity.

**I do not suggest that educators have online, social media relationships with students while they are still in school.