Redrome04300_3When was the last time you thanked a teacher? When have you said, “Thank you for your teaching. It makes a big difference to me and my family.”

Today is the first day of school for our kids and I already look forward to the first parent-teacher meetings. I love hearing professional teachers describe how people, especially our children, learn.

In parent-teacher meetings during prior years, Alisa and I have always expressed our thanks. After we look at the homework samples and discuss issues of cognitive and social development, we always say thank you. “It must not go without saying that we are very grateful for your work. Our child is thriving and it is surely due to your talents and energy. Please know that we regard your teaching as a gift not only to our child, but a gift to our entire family. Through our conversations at home, all of us are learning from you. Thank you.”

The teachers are always surprised to hear such explicit thanks. Perhaps a lot of parents just shuffle in and shuffle out, too shy to express such appreciation. One teacher, a few years ago, cried at hearing our thanks. (That wasn’t my intention. My days of trying to make teachers cry are long over.)

As a teacher, I’ve taught every grade from third through graduate school. I’m a good teacher (in my humble opinion) and yet I’ve heard thanks from relatively few parents and students.

Why spare the teacher our thanks? Such words probably improve all the relationships around the table among the parents, student and teacher. And that must surely result in better teaching and learning. And better lives.

Of course, this also works with dentists. And chefs. And other humans. If you thank the people around you, they really appreciate it — and you will find you are surrounded by people who appreciate you.

Thank you for reading Net Cotton Content.