The Best Gift Of All

We’re now less than a week away from Christmas, and with the holidays so close, there is often lots of talk about gift giving and gift receiving. Yesterday, was the last day of school before the holidays, and I’m very thankful for all of the lovely presents I received from students, parents, colleagues, and friends. A teacher at school yesterday morning taught me though of the best gift of all.

A few minutes before school started, one of my colleagues came by the classroom. When he came in, he said that he just had a little something small for me for the holidays. He then handed over a little box of chocolates and the most lovely card. This teacher is always so positive and so supportive of everyone, but I totally did not expect this “special gift”: encouraging words to show that what I’m doing, matters.

This was just one of many wonderful surprises in the last days before the holidays.

  • A lovely personalized card from my principal and vice principal with kind words of support.
  • Incredibly sweet notes from a couple of EA’s that I have the pleasure of working and learning with every day at school.
  • Some surprise tweets, and even a blog post comment, from my previous principal and vice principalboth showing that they care, even though I may have moved schools.
  • Kind emails, notes, tweets, and words uttered aloud by parents, colleagues, and students that offer that little extra encouragement at what can be a stressful time of the year. 
  • Unexpected hugs, high-fives, and sweet “goodbyes” from students, as they get ready to leave for the holidays.

These are those special moments that I truly love. I remember when I was in high school and attended an Awards Banquet. The guest speaker at the time — I wish that I could remember his name — spoke about the fact that we’re always so quick to send notes and make phone calls when there are problems, but much less likely to do so, just to say, “thank you.” How do you show your appreciation of others all year long? Whether in a quick note, tweet, email, or conversation, I’m going to try to not just wait until the holiday times to let people know that they matter. Kind words can truly be the best presents of all!


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