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WHEN DO STUDENTS SAY THANK YOU

THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

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This afternoon I was going through myFacebook page and read one of my co-workers (AC) comments where he said:

I wonder…in this game called education, when does someone say the words “thank you??”

I responded with: 

I believe the thank you’s occur everyday, but we often miss them…they aren’t always verbal or explicit but they are there. When a kid is so pissed at you one moment and yet a 1/2 hour later they come back and try to participate in your class, is a way of saying thank you. Or when they choose to be in your room instead of being someplace else… I see these as form of thank you.

Sometimes we have to look at the actions that say thank you and not look for a verbal thank because they don’t know how to verbalize it.I honestly believe that our students do say “thank you” to us everyday.  It just isn’t in ways we are looking for it.   I know that I want to feel validated and I understand fully how my co-worker feels at times.  We bust our butts trying to advocate for and help these students have a chance at being what we, their parents, the school and most of society consider being reasonable participants in “school”.  We want to be validated that what we are doing for them is being noticed and is worth our time/efforts.

Is that a realistic expectation from our current students – to validate our needs?  I don’t really think so, especially when many of them have so many demons of their own to take care of, that they cannot or do not worry about anyone else.

Instead I believe that they say thank you by their actions.

  • When things are going bad, they talk to you, ask your opinion and appear to listen to what you say.
  • As much as they appear to not like you they still show up in your room, when they could be somewhere else.
  • They stop by and talk to you about what they did last night or over the weekend.
  • coming to “your” class even when they are having a crap day everywhere else and are mostly on task.  (i.e. They wait until your class is over before getting suspended).
  • they came to school even when they didn’t want to and in the past wouldn’t have.
  • When they see you in the hall, they take the time to say hi Mr. or Mrs. ________.  (a small thing, but on your next school day stand in the hall and don’t initiate anything and see how many students say hi to you or give you a “little wave”, the ones that do might surprise you.)
  • When you aren’t feeling well or miss a day unexpectedly, listen to which ones ask you why you were out and check to see if you are okay or tell the other students to chill if you are sick/having a tough day.
  • and other “little” things that they do to say thank you that we may not recognize if we aren’t looking for it.

In my opinion these are the things that teachers need to look for in their current students, that say “thank you”.  I can understand why my co-worker said what he said and have said it many times myself, but looking at it realistically our students are not very often going to verbalize that “thank you” as much as we might want or need them too.

But you know there is a feeling of satisfaction when a student comes up to me and say “Thank you Mr. Shaw for …..

Have you made a difference today? How?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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