Every teacher has their own must-have supply list. Some of my must-have supplies include these Paper Mate pens, these Quarter whiteboard markers, white cardstock paper, bright colored sticky notes … and notecards. I keep a variety of notecards: thank-yous, stationary with generic statements or art, and blank cards. Even though I’ve been steadily collecting them (aren’t all teachers hoarders at heart?), I didn’t start giving them away until this year. Now that I’ve been handing them out, I can’t believe I’ve waiting this long to use them!
At the beginning of the year our interim superintendent had a heart attack, and shortly after I had my 8th grade students but not my high school students – both of which are in Spanish 1. I decided to fill out a get well card in Spanish for the superintendent and have the kids sign it. Our superintendent came down after his return and thanked them. The repayment didn’t end there, though. Within a month of this my grandfather passed away. I went to Michigan to be with my family for a week and when I came back my 8th grade students had left me a feel better card. I was so touched I cried. I wondered why my other classes that I had been with longer didn’t get me a card, and I realized that these kinds of gestures are not as common as they used to be. This group had seen me model handwritten notes, and they also saw how thankful someone was to receive it, while the other groups had not.
I’ve also given a handwritten note to a student after her grandfather passed away. Although she wasn’t overtly loud and thankful about the note, I know it meant a lot to her that someone was thinking of her.
Next, I gave out thank-yous to the teachers who let me bring in my Spanish 1 carollers at the holiday time. I didn’t really think about the notes until I covered another teacher’s class during my prep time and saw the thank-you taped up next to their work space. I just thought that the thank-yous had been thrown away, but another teacher hung it up to remind them of something bright from the year.
It seems like such a common-sense thing to write a thank-you or a handwritten note, but when is the last time you sent one? Stock up now so you don’t have an excuse in the future, or consider a personal weekly challenge! If you need to stock up on notecards, I recommend checking out Target’s bargain section located at the front of the store for some cheap deals (like $1 for 6 or something like that!) or at store like TJ Maxx for some designer styles (anywhere from $4-$6 for 12-24 cards).