The end of the school year is a natural time for reflection and celebrations. Around the 8 schools in my district, I've stopped in many classrooms these past few weeks to sweaty kids just back from "Park Day" or tired teachers just back from a field trip. I've seen high fives, hugs, and dance parties. One of the classrooms I worked with the most this year even gave me a handmade card and flowers on our last day working together!
Taking the time to recognize the hard work of others and letting them know the impact they had on you is important. Not only does it make someone feel good, but it's also important professionally to know that your work matters.
One of the most impactful "gifts" I ever got was a card from 3 teachers I mentored where they wrote down "Annie-isms" that they called "Words of Wisdom." Just knowing that they remembered things I said to them during our work together meant so much to me. More than that, thought, it validated my work and made me want to continue mentoring and coaching-- and to do even better work, improve, and grow my practice.
I knew I wanted to do something to recognize teachers that I worked with this year as well. I decided to make an iMovie putting together all the pictures and videos I had taken of them and their students throughout the year. It was a great way to document a coaching cycle journey and to have something to "gift" to the teachers. We were also able to show it to the students, who were thrilled to see all the pictures of themselves learning in action!
Finally, I found little travel sized mirrors (at Dollar Tree, shhh, don't tell!) and created a little card using Canva that thanked the teacher for being so "reflective" this year. I do love a good pun! You can download the card to use yourself here. Delivering the mirror in person gave me a chance to connect one last time with coaching clients and wish them a restful and relaxing summer!