One of the most satisfying parts of being a teacher is receiving notes from our students. Sometimes, they thank us for teaching them something new or believing in them. Sometimes, they write us notes saying that we’re their favorite teachers or that they love us! The main reason this is so validating is because it means somewhere along the way, we’ve made a connection with that student. It’s no secret that making those connections with our students make our instruction more effective.

A student wrote me this note last week and placed it in my mailbox–unsigned!

Have you ever gotten a note from a student that you didn’t expect to write you one? Have you ever gotten a note from a student that wasn’t even signed? There is something even more special about these types of notes. 🙂

So, what can you do after you after you receive a note?

  1. Thank the student (if you know who they are.) These thoughtful actions should be appreciated and reinforced!
  2. Write the student back if you have something to compliment them on! This doesn’t have to be immediate, and in fact, will be more genuine if you wait, but it will still mean a lot to them.
  3. Ask the student to stay after class and thank them. Simply ask them what is new in their life or how things are going. Sometimes, kids reach out as a way of connecting, so give them the opportunity to.

Pep Talk: Your kids love you. While notes may be few and far between, be patient and thankful when they do come. Think of it as we communicate as adults; when was the last time you called one of your friends? If you’re anything like me, it has maybe been a few weeks! Don’t hold your students to expectations that you can’t even keep. And, when you receive this love, make sure to give it back! Acknowledge whenever your kids do good things, thank them when they are kind to others, and give them a reward when they exceed expectations. After all, the saying goes that it’s better to give than to receive, right?

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