Tag: Student

Making ‘thank you’ your regular reality.

Making ‘thank you’ your regular reality.

The last week of school I wanted my students to be extremely comfortable with the concepts and topics that we had covered over the 18 week semester.  Further, it was important to me that the students could look beyond the test and the multiple choice questions.  I really hoped that they could apply the information on taxes, checking and savings accounts, and renting an apartment after graduating high school.  Midway through the week, I had a rather shy student come up to me and in the most genuine voice say, “Thank you so much for reviewing with us this week, Mrs. Jamieson.  I really appreciate all the time you have spent to do this.”  It was a simple gesture, but meant a lot that he chose to say that.  A simple thank you really is as easy as that!

My first year of teaching at my current school I felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants during parts of the semester.  I started in the middle of the year and had very little prep time to get a classroom ready and activities prepared for class.  I remember toward the end of the semester receiving a card in my mailbox.  I opened that card to find a thank you note written from one of my students.  He was thanking me for being his teacher.  He wanted me to know that he thought I was doing a great job.  It meant a lot to me to receive that note.  I felt so lucky to have such a genuinely kind and appreciative student.  And, to this day, I still have that note.

While those thank yous really inspire me and give new perspective, sending and giving thank yous is what really makes my heart happy.  I love seeing others when they feel appreciated or surprised by a gesture of kindness.  I recently went to a conference that had a small team that worked extremely hard to plan meaningful sessions.  I could tell they worked long hours and had planned for months upon months.  I sent a personal thank you card to each person on that team to show my genuine appreciation for the work they had done.  So often we attend large events, galas, conferences, or fundraisers that caused a group (often small) to work their butts off to make it a phenomenal time for others.  It is usually nice for someone to acknowledge their work and the time they spent to execute it.

Recently, I had a friend who was getting ready to leave the school I am at to start a new adventure.  We were not close friends, in fact, I only knew him on a small level.  Before he went back to his city life, I wanted him to know how much I appreciated meeting him and having him as an aide for the very short time that we worked together.  He was delightfully surprised by the thank you, which is one of the best ways to thank someone!  Lastly, I chose to take bagels and cream cheese from Panera to an office where I do a very small amount of contractual work.  It’s a small group of very hard working individuals who are very kind and friendly toward me.  I randomly thought it would be fun to surprise them to let them know that I see how hard they work each day.  I got there with the bagels in hand and they were thrilled.  The director came to me and said, “We have never had someone do something like that for us.”   So, next time you have the chance to do something small, or to do something big, just do something to show appreciation and to thank others.

I hope these stories inspire you, motivate you, and cause you to surprise others with cards, food, or other ways that show appreciation for what they do.  Let’s make sure that thank you is a always a reality.  It will change your day by making the day of those around you better!

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Reach out and touch a heart!

Reach out and touch a heart!

A day is often filled with lots of stressors, usually things that make life a bit chaotic, but there are so many little moments in-between that make life amazing and worth all those exhausting and stressful moments.  As a teacher, I love the little things that make my students smile, laugh, and allow me to see a different side of them or witness them in a different light, even for just a minute or two.

I am like any tired teacher, CEO, janitor, parent, customer service representative, lawyer, doctor, etc because I am often overwhelmed by my post-it note reminders and to-do lists.  I have had some tough days lately filled with anxiety, tears, and even questioning what I am doing as a teacher.  I had a few patches with several complex situations (actually, three specific stressors) that made my life feel like it was spinning in circles.

During those spinning circles, there were two students that made an impact on my life.  One student who had been struggling recently came to me and asked if I could help her with finding a job.  As a Business Teacher, I was thrilled to be able to offer her assistance and that she showed such motivation by coming in after school to get help.  I answered her questions and assisted with a resume.  She was thrilled by the small amount of help that I had offered.  The next day she came in very excited to tell me that she had an interview coming up.  It was actually one of the first times I had seen her smile and saw such emotion in her personality.  I was very excited for her.  I congratulated her and told her I wanted updates on the job (basically so that I could cheer her on along the way as she started this new adventure).

This next young lady asked the most simple question, but it left a smile upon my face.  She is a quiet student and I really haven’t gotten to know her that well since it’s a new semester.  She’s always been very respectful and honest, but I could never tell whether she likes my class, hates my class, or just tolerates it since it’s her consumer education credit.  She came up to me at the end of class and in the most innocent and sweet voice she said, “I applied for a job, Mrs. Jamieson.”  I said, “That’s great, I hope you get it!”  She followed that with, “I did the online application, but I have this feeling that I should call or do something else, but I don’t even know what I would even say.”  I was impressed with her admission and how candid she was with me.  After all, I didn’t realize she trusted me or felt comfortable in my class yet (mostly because she’s quiet).  I said, “I would actually go to the place you applied and tell them you submitted an online application.  Explain to them that you wanted to confirm that they received it and hope they contact you soon to discuss the position.”  I explained to her that this gives the employer a chance to see her and it may set her apart from other applicants that don’t follow through after they submit the application.  She told me she felt relieved about what would come next.  She smiled and as she left, I said, “You know this means you have to keep me posted on your job prospects and how it goes!”

What’s the point of these two stories?  It’s quite simple.  Reach out and help others, touch their heart and in turn it will touch yours.  These young ladies did just as much, if not more, for me as I did for them.

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Ice cream before dinner…why, yes!

Ice cream before dinner…why, yes!

I found out at the beginning of June that I wouldn’t be teaching at CCHS next year because I don’t hold an endorsement that allows me to teach Webpage Design and Programming classes and those are two classes that will be offered next year.  I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t disappointed.  I was disappointed.  And, a lot.  I live right by my high school and I drive past it almost every single day.  To be honest, it just sucks (and sometimes you face these types of challenges on the way up the mountain of life).  I loved my job, and more than anything I loved inspiring my students.  I’m going to let my guard down a little bit more than normal in this post, and it will probably humanize me more to others and show you that life really is like climbing a mountain.  Just when you think your hard work, dedication, and passion will pay off that may not actually be the case (at least, not at the time when you think it should be.)  I poured my heart and soul into this last semester at CCHS (not to impress anyone), but because it’s part of my spirit.  I love giving back and that’s just what I chose to do at the high school by volunteering at the robotics competition, judging the high school talent show, passing out pizza to the freshman class, chaperoning prom, coordinating a backpack drive, and attending the Multicultural Festival as well as participating in it by going to each table to learn more about other countries. It was certainly a fully-filled adventure that I had (and a learning experience, too)!

I am strong though, so I knew I could and would move on (and that’s just what I did.)  I decided the evening I found out and the next to begin the process of cleaning out my classroom.  I didn’t want to waste any time getting it done. After all, I had so much in my classroom from team building games I created, a Food Truck auctioning project we did, risk management games we played, and the like.  But, one thing about cleaning my classroom was that it actually was a bit therapeutic.  I decided to clean out my classroom and then as an adult I chose to drown myself in some delicious ice cream before dinner. Yes, you read that correctly. I wanted (and probably needed) something to make myself feel better about what would come next.  That would be the ever so dreaded task of job searching.  One of the things I think I might hate most in life.  After all, I have 221 cover letters in my ‘Cover Letter’ folder on my jump drive and that isn’t even all of them.  I have been searching for jobs in my life more than I would like to even think about.  After all, my professional career is something I have dreamed about ever since I was a little adopted Indian girl.  It is something I have always taken great pride in.  And so, while my professional life certainly has been more like climbing a mountain, it has always taught me a lesson.  That lesson is that somehow everything seems to work out and that’s something I can rest assured about even if it does mean moving on to something new and different.  Remember, life isn’t easy, but it does provide lessons that we can learn from and carry with us through life.

Now that I have eaten my ice cream and packed up my classroom, it’s time to move on to what’s next.  And, there is always going to be something next (when and where is TBD).  So, now you can translate this into your own life’s adventures, the ups and the downs, and remember that moving on after disappointment is key to picking yourself back up and being better than you were before.

The cherry on top of my ice cream is that on my very last day one of my students from spring semester came up to talk to me.  I told him that I wasn’t rehired and that I wouldn’t be back at CCHS next year. He said, “I’m going to miss seeing you next year.”  He is one of those students that always said, “Hi, Mrs. Jamieson” in the hallways and always interacted with his teachers.  As he walked away after I told him good luck at his SkillsUSA competition that was coming up he said, “I liked having you as a teacher, Mrs. Jamieson.”

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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