I think that most people in life are underappreciated, or at least they feel underappreciated. Think of all the times you have gone far above and beyond what was expected of you in your profession, and no one even acknowledged your efforts. Although you can offer yourself the intrinsic credit of a good job with a pat on your own back, sometimes it is just great to receive a thank you from someone else.
For those who are reading my blog for the first time, I retired from teaching in 2011 to care for my husband who was diagnosed with and dying from stage four colon cancer, and then I retired from coaching Varsity Boys' Golf in 2014, after 33 years as head coach. I have been "out of the loop" of receiving any kind of acknowledgements from students, since I have not been at school for several years. Then, last week, I received an unexpected and wonderful thank you letter from a parent of one of my former golfers! Nothing really lifts the soul quite like the knowledge that someone appreciates something that YOU have done for them. This letter was extraordinary.
The parent wrote a wonderful open letter with the title "Thank you to the rest of The Village". (Referring to the famous African Proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child." ) She talks about the swift passing of the years as her son was growing up, as well as the friends, relatives, teachers, and coaches who helped to shape her son's life, whether it was when he was a tiny child, elementary student, middle school student, or high school adolescent. The coup de grace of the text is this line that she wrote: "Thank you to all of you. Big or small, you made a difference in the life of my child, and I will be forever grateful."
I was overcome with tears as I read the letter, which also included at least 50 photos of her son through the years. Such a charming and caring way to say thank you to others, and to appreciate and acknowledge those individuals who helped to shape her son's life.
What a beautiful way to make someone's day. This touching, sincere, and heartfelt letter certainly made MY day.
The letter I received took a tremendous amount of effort, both to write and to showcase this young man's life in pictures. I recognize that, and, yes, I will be sending a "thank you" for this "thank you."
In everyday life, appreciation does not have to be so time consuming. A pat on the back, a firm handshake, a verbal "thank you", an unexpected treat like a coffee and a donut, a quick email, or even a post-it note thank you would all be appreciated. Somehow, a few words of praise motivate people to give their best. I learned that while teaching in the classroom for 37 years and coaching for 33 years.
Here is a great quote to follow in life: "Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret." Mary Kay Ash
I APPRECIATE all of you who read my words and support my efforts as a fledgling writer. Thank you so much for your time and encouragement.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Dede is a 37 year veteran English/ Theater teacher, with 2 years in the Penn Hills School District, and 35 years in the North Allegheny School District, where she also was Varsity Head Boys’ Golf Coach for 33 years, directed the spring musical and talent shows, worked with student council, and contributed to many district initiatives. Dede sat on the board of the North Allegheny Foundation, and served the WPIAL Golf Committee, the Women’s Golf Association of Western PA, the West Penn Golf Association, and many other groups. She was a PA TOY semi-finalist in 2011, the year she had to retire when her husband, Scott, was dying from stage four colon cancer. Dede completed her book and it was published in September, 2014. Point Park University and Thiel College are using the book, and Dede is now accepting speaking engagements around the country, with some focusing on education, and some on motivation. A popular topic is The Three C’s for Classroom Success: Confidence, Communication, and Creativity. Always a positive person, Dede writes a weekly blog for teacher inspiration at www.bunnyteacher.blogspot.com. She is a guest blogger for Teachers.net, My town Tutors, Educator Help, and others. Dede is the Co-host of The Total Education Q and A Show, which is heard around the world on 120 stations in 80 countries. Tutor Radio Show. Dede is a guest writer for Forests of the Rain Productions June 2015 Living Education eMagazine on the topic of Teacher Burnout, a weekly panelist on Teacher Talk Live at www.teachcow.com; and Dede has presented webinars for WIZ IQ and The Learning Liaisons. Dede has just signed a multi-book contract with Tate Publishing for her new series of children’s books, beginning with GRADY GETS GLASSES.
Connect with Dede: firstname.lastname@example.org ; TWITTER @dederittman; LinkedIn Dede Faltot Rittman; Google + Dede Rittman; Facebook Dede Faltot Rittman and Rittman Rules