Do you remember these?
Before school let out for winter break, I found a free candy wrapper download and wrapped candy bars for 17 middle school teachers, a small token of thankfulness for all their hard work and wishes for a happy holiday. Of those 17 teachers only 2 wrote thank you notes back. Now, I wasn't really expecting thank you notes. They were just a couple of candy bars with a ribbon around them and I was actually thanking them. But I cannot tell you how happy I was to receive yesterday's note. Two little words, "thank you" really enhanced my day. Not only did this teacher take time out of his day to write a thank you for candy bars, but also wrote a little something about Timmy.
"Timmy, I want you to know that the best gift you have given me is the one you bring to class everyday, that is your drive for excellence. You, my young friend, have a great attitude and always give your best effort; no teacher could ask or hope for more."
I was a proud mama yesterday and Timmy was proud too because this teacher is Timmy's favorite teacher this year, maybe ever. The second thank you note came from one of Shannon's teachers. This is the same teacher that had called our house after 9:00 in the evening a few weeks before Christmas. This teacher called just to say that Shannon was doing a great job in her class, she really has been working hard, putting forth a great effort, and doing all the work needed to learn the units and to do well. That phone call was a mere two minutes but meant so much to me. The hand written notes, took five minutes out of their day, but brought great happiness when we received them.
I know hand-written notes are a dying art. These teachers could of sent me an email, but it wouldn't have been the same. There is something about sorting through the mail, seeing all your bills, throwing all the junk mail away and then seeing that one little, brightly colored envelope with a hand-written address. Someone has written us a note!
Some people think they don't have the time to write a thank you. Yes, it does takes time to write that note, but the person that sent you a gift or showed you an act of kindness also took time out of their day. Some people think after too much time has passed, it's too late to send that note. I remember talking with a mom years ago and she told me that it took her forever to get her daughter to write her thank you's from her birthday party. Then she had them sitting on the kitchen counter to put stamps on them but then they got shuffled under some paperwork and when she finally found them a few weeks later she said she was so embarrassed that they were so late that she threw them all away. I don't think it is ever too late to let someone know that you appreciated what they did for you or that you are grateful for the gift that they sent you.
I think a thank you note also says a lot about someone's character. It sets you apart from everyone else. Now that I have two kids in middle school, I don't feel as connected to my kids' teachers as I did when they were in elementary school. I do not know every teacher's name. But I do know the names of the two teachers that sent us those thank you notes.
This year I am going to be more mindful to write those thank you notes. It is never too late to say thank you.