Monday, May 7, 2012

Acknowledgements and Appreciation

You know the drill. The drill we all do when someone finishes their work. The student shows it up to you. You look over everything they have done. They get it right. You BEAM! Your smile is as big as the moon. And you say: GOOD JOB!

Whomp, whomp, whomp :(

You may think you did a fantastic job of acknowledging their hard work. However, this is the same phrase you use for every child. Now at such a young age, most work is done through their play activities and art work. Even at this age, each child puts in different levels of effort in their work. It is important for us to observe this and acknowledge the children who are putting in tons of effort and appreciate it. Here are other phrases to use instead of "good job" all the time:
  • You are so smart!
  • Good remembering!
  • I knew you could do it!
  • You've got it!
  • Super!
  • That's right!
  • I am very proud of you!
  • You put in a lot of effort, didn't you!?
  • I can see you worked so hard on this!
  • You are really working hard today!
  • Way to go!
  • I am happy to see you working!
  • This is your best work!
  • That is quite an improvement!
  • Fantastic!
  • Amazing!
  • Congratulations!
  • You are learning fast!
  • Couldn't have done it better myself!
  • You really make my job fun!
  • You didn't miss a thing!
  • WOW!
  • Terrific!
  • Excellent!
  • Perfect!
  • Wonderful!
  • Outstanding!
  • This shows you have been completing all your homework!
  • Looks like you have been practicing!
  • This is a masterpiece! (This one I use quite often for art work. I call it their masterpieces and the children love to hear this!)
  • Keep it up!
  • This kind of work makes me really happy!

Everyone needs to be appreciated for their hard work. Even the teachers. An Educator's Life has done a fantastic piece on the importance of appreciation and has mentioned his own experiences giving thanks to the teachers that made a huge difference in his life. I would like to thank this teacher for all his work given to his students as well as to fellow teachers through his blog. You are already making a difference! I am going to take the appreciation challenge as well and acknowledge all the wonderful teachers who have made me who I am today. Here goes my speech :)

My dearest parents, the most wonderful and valued teachers that I have known to this day. They have taught me everything about life. I have had all the experiences, good and bad, but each worthwhile and deserve no regret. People who have met my parents have said to me that they see so much of them in me and this is the best feeling ever. They are my world; they are my heroes; they are my teachers. No kind of thanks will ever be enough!

I don't remember many of my teachers in my early days but I remember the first teacher I had in Canada. I was in Grade 6. She only wanted to be called Janet. Not Mrs. Janet. Not Miss Janet. Not Ms. (Last Name) which we never knew because she wanted to be called just Janet. I remember her very clearly. I came from an environment where we would not dare call any adult by their first name. To me this notion in a brand new country was very, very eye-popping! I couldn't believe my ears when she said she wanted to be called Janet. But this made me feel closer to her; that I could talk to her about anything. She was my first teacher in Canada and I cannot forget her. Thank You Janet for making me feel so comfortable in my first year, for giving me all the compliments you could think of about how beautiful I looked when I wore my cultural clothes to school and when I performed all my work to the best of my abilities. You are, and forever will be, cherished. Thank you!

Mr. P; my grade 12 Business teacher. Every time I think of what you had done for me that one day, I want to cry because there is no way I can thank you for what you did. I had already graduated from high school but I stayed another semester because I wanted to upgrade my overall average and get into the university that gave the best program. My grades were on the fence; I could make it or I could not. I worked really hard that semester. The day there was the major unit test for Business, I also had a final project due for a Family Studies course. I worked all night for the project and studied nothing at all for Business. I went into Mr. P's office the day of the test and asked him if he could move the test as I had not studied one bit. He said he was sorry he couldn't move it as marks had to be put in soon. I said I understood and walked out a bit disappointed, though totally understanding my teacher's perspective. I walked into Business class and sat through the test staring at questions most of the time, leaving them blank. Mr. P. always walked around. He walked behind me and looked at my test. I was ashamed and I did not have the guts to look up. He took my pen from my hand and wrote down clue words to three different questions. I froze. I couldn't believe what was happening. He went and sat down at his desk, called my name and asked me a question about a certain definition. This was actually an answer to another test question in the form of a question! It clicked in in a couple of seconds and I began writing down. Other students seemed confused and didn't get what was happening. No one said anything. It was as if it never happened. I ended up with an 86% on the test because of Mr. P. This gave me a final grade of 82 in Business. It is the reason I got into university. It is the reason I have a diploma, 2 degrees and will be getting my 3rd in the next few years. Thank you Mr. P. for this. Thank you for being the one to change my whole life around. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to become who I am today. Thank you for allowing me to be the first in my family to complete post secondary education. It means so much to my family and I than you can ever imagine. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Last but not least, I would like to thank Ms. Slatz. She was my mentor teacher during my teaching degree and pushed me all the way through with accomplishments and achievements I could never do on my own. She is the reason I have a job today. I could not thank her enough for helping me step in my career. Thank you Ms. Slatz; you were and still are the perfect mentor teacher for me!

Thank you to all the teachers out there who put in their blood, sweat and not to mention their own MONEY into making differences in people's lives everywhere. You are remembered and cherished. Please continue what you do with the same passion because it has and still makes the world a better place. Thank you!


  1. Thanks for participating (and for your kind words!) We can all do better to share our appreciation, and this is a step in the right direction.

  2. Popped over from Mr. Hughes' blog.
    I enjoyed your post. I, too, took the challenge and wrote about many of my own influences. I'm also fortunate in being able to work with Mr. Hughes. He is a wonderful teacher, as you can probably tell. :-)

    1. Cool! I only know Mr Hughes from the blog and not in person. But I can tell already he must be a fabulous teacher. I am going to check your blog out too! Thanks for reading mine :)


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