Thank-you notes make people happy. For as much joy as they give me, I don’t send them enough. In fact, I think writing thank-you notes is a dying art. They’re overlooked forms of positive closure. Gratitude on its own is powerful, and when it’s exchanged, it feels amazing. After I thought about what notes of gratitude could accomplish, I started emailing thank-you notes to my students, waiting until well after the semester for the most impact.
Stupid. This word was spoken triumphantly and repeatedly as self-speak by a talented pre-service, k-12 special education teacher during my course Library Resources for Children. Until I heard her say it several times through the semester, I hadn’t seen how one word can hold an entire teaching philosophy. I hadn’t considered how the power of that word multiplies when it takes the form of self-speak. I hadn’t realized how much it scared me to think that that word might follow her into a k-12 classroom. When I learned that my own teaching philosophy existed on the pinhead of a single word whenever I’ve thought it at myself, I needed to send to this email to that amazing up-and-coming teacher: