Monday, June 2, 2014

Thanks Four Olive Your Kindness - Year 3 in the Books

Thanks four olive your kindness. 

Haha, I found that this card was appropriate considering all of your puns...and the olive branch you wore on your head (during Culture Festival). Anyway, this card is a thank you for being a really great teacher. This year has been very memorable. I have never had a teacher that I truly trusted. You were the only person who knew (....insert major life event here....) Like you said, "Secrets don't make friends, but really good friends make secrets." I hope that you have a great class next year and that no one can annoy you as much as me and my friends. 
- Name

We just wanted to say  thank you for this past school year. You will never know how much your daily kindness mean to the both of us - it was priceless.  Your obvious effort as a teacher is truly exemplary. Do not ever lose that or become discouraged. We are truly grateful for all of it, and (name)  learned more this year than ever.  Best wishes to you and your family. We hope nothing but many blessings. 
- Family Names

Best Teacher - 
The teacher who understood what had happened in my life and made it better.  The one teacher I won't forget when I move. 
- Name

Mr. Miller is the best TEACHER EVER, (with my 4th grade teacher) I'm going to miss you during the summer. You are always nice and funny. STAY AWESOME, and weird - in the best way.

Mr. Miller is fun sweet, amazing, and the best teacher ever. He gets you through the year in a fun way and always has a smile shining on his face. Thanks for being awesome!

Mr. Miller, thanks for making things fun but still doing a great job teaching. 

Mr. Miller is the best reading teacher ever. When he is mad, he forgives them!

Mr. Miller,
You make me laugh,
You make me smile, 
I'd love to stay awhile.
But at the end of every class, 
I ask if I can stay,
but you pass.
But I do not leave with a broken heart,
instead I am lit up in every part.
Thank you for everything. 
You are the best teacher I've ever had. :) 
Your Student,

Mr. Miller,
You are one of the best teachers I've ever had! You are very nice and funny. I hope we will see each other next year! I learned a lot and I will miss you.

Mr. Miller,
You're a great teacher and super nice. (You can't be mean very well.)

Mr. Miller,
I can't tell you how thankful I am that ------ has had you this year. It seems as if God hand-picked a very small group of you guys to go through this nightmare, journey of a year with our family. I appreciate it so much. Your patience and understanding, as well as your support, with ------ and me. 

These are actual notes/cards from my students/parents this year. I don't post these things to brag. If anything, it's as far from it as possible. I don't like the spotlight. In fact, I almost downright go out of my way to avoid it. Why? Not sure. I think it's just how I'm wired. I like seeing others succeed that have been "under" my guidance. 

But one of the things I really enjoy is receiving a handwritten note or card from my students or their parents for a job well-done. Taking the time to write a thank you is actually very time consuming. We can type in 1/2 the time or faster. Emails are so much quicker. (sidenote - I love getting emails as well) A thoughtful hand-written note means a lot to me. I keep the ones I've received in a folder in my desk. I pull them out when I have a bad day. Or when a student is driving me nuts. Or when there is something that is really pulling me down. Or when some of my students don't pass something. Or...on and on. 

They get me through a lot of days. These are what really motivate me. That desire to help someone succeed and then being recognized personally can typically bring me to tears. 

Anyway, back to the original thought. No students ever thanks you for teaching them that Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue in 1492, or that knights are the second tier of the feudal pyramid from the Middle Ages, or on and on. Yes, I teach all that stuff. But at the end of the day, you have to realize that life is about relationships and there isn't meaningful learning into a relationship has been built. (Something random - the ones that I don't develop deep relationships with tend to not do as well. I need to look into that.)

I have learned a lot this past year. About my students. About myself. About me as a dad. About me a learner. About me as a husband. About me a leader. About me. 

Thank you to the amazing students I had this year. Thank you to the amazing parents I had this year. Thank you to my teammates. Thank you to the staff. Thank you. 

I left my students with this this year. 

May you live boldly,
May you love humbly,
May you never stop searching for wisdom. 

I stole it from I typically say and do something very similar, but I really liked the wording that John used. I hope he doesn't mind. :) 

I can't wait to learn more this summer.