Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
When I think about what I means to be appreciated, I think about two different things.
The first is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s a book about the five different ways love can be communicated and received. Here are the five Love Languages for those who are not familiar with them.
1. Physical Touch
2. Words of Affirmation
3. Quality Time
4. Receiving Gifts
5. Acts of Service
These are all pretty self-explanatory, I think, except the last one, Acts of Service. People who communicate love via acts of service are those who do things for those who love. They are people who will make you a cup of coffee because they know you love it or tell you go relax while they do the dishes.
Anyway, Chapman and Paul White wrote a book called, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Clearly, I am a big proponent of Words of Affirmation. I suppose that’s why I have a Catch of the Week and part of the reason I write these Letters. This makes sense since I’m someone who loves words in general. At work, others might feel appreciated with enjoying Quality Time like eating lunch together or going to a happy hour. Still others might prefer Acts of Service where someone might say, “Let me make the copies this week. I’m on it!” Finally, there are those who feel appreciated when they get a Gift like the surprise cup of coffee or a new set of colored pens. (Chapman and White say that even though there are people who like a literal pat on the back or a high five, generally speaking, showing physical touch as a means of appreciation at work should be avoided because there are other ways to communicate appreciation.) In case you’re interested in learning more about the 5 Languages, there are many books on that theme including The Five Languages of Apology, The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers, and 5 Love Languages of Children.
The second thing I think about is this pandemic. In March 2020 when schools were forced to close, the work that teachers did to invent what learning could look like remotely was unbelievable! As if that wasn’t enough, the work that teachers have continued to do this year be it fully remote, hybrid, or even in person but at a distance with masks was nothing short of exemplary! Running this marathon over the past 14 months has been tough, but I’m convinced the race is harder because we don't know how much longer we have until we get to the finish line. Though that it no one’s fault, it can be discouraging when you don’t know how close you are to the end.
If I could, I would differentiate this Letter to every reader so that I could show my appreciation in the language that would mean the most to them. Obviously, that’s not possible. So, I’ll have to settle for this…a small Letter of Appreciation that comes with the deepest gratitude for the hard work teachers do on behalf of kids not just this week or this day, but every day in every week. Thank you!
P.S. Happy Mother's Day this Sunday to all the moms out there!
P.P.S. This week, I've asked Rachelle Dene Poth, Spanish and STEAM Educator, Consultant, and Attorney, author of books including In Other Words, Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU, The Future is Now, Chart A New Course, and True Story: Lessons That One Kid Taught Us for a catch. Here's what she caught...
A fantastic app to help teachers focus more on self-care and making time for a break in their day. JabuMind for Teachers, has been so helpful for reminding myself to take a break. With the features, it has a “release your day” which helps to clear your mind before sleep, a “start your day” to make time for a few minutes in the morning or evening to clear your mind and focus on mental and physical wellness. When we focus on taking those breaks, it definitely helps us to focus more, avoid teacher burnout, and promote our own SEL. Definitely recommend for teacher appreciation week!