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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

It is the month of Thanksgiving, and everyone is getting excited about turkey and pumpkin pie. People are also considering the things they should be thankful for. Well, I think this is the perfect month for teachers to stop a student and thank him or her.

Thank a student? For what? How about anything you can think of? Showing up ready to learn is one great reason to thank a student. They have so much going on in their lives that it is a huge accomplishment to show up in class ready to go. The students make choices every day about how they're going to behave and what's important to them. The fact they show up in class is worth a smile and a thank you.

As teachers, it's easy for us to feel underappreciated. Teaching can be a thankless job, but so can being a student. Just because it's the legal requirement for them to be in your class doesn't mean that they don't deserve a small amount of recognition for being there. Doing homework or studying for an exam merits a high five and a thank you from the teacher. Not every day is an easy one for these kids, and I believe a thank you from a teacher would go a long way.

Most importantly, saying thank you to a student is great modeling. If you start thanking kids for their effort, they'll start to thank you and thank others for the work they do each and every day. If we want our kids to appreciate the hard work we put into each lesson, what better way is there than starting to appreciate and thank them for the hard work they put into each lesson?

Did that just blow your mind?

If it did, maybe you're forgetting one of the biggest things teachers need to remember: these students in your class are people as well. They crave the same type of attention and reinforcement that all of us do. Take a minute before the Turkey Tiredness overcomes you and find a way to thank your students. I bet you they will even thank you for it.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Nerdy Teacher