In a few weeks, another school year will come to a close. As you say goodbye and anticipate a relaxing summer, be sure to set aside some time to reflect and take pride in what you have accomplished. Now is the time to acknowledge your efforts in planning and delivering great lessons, and providing learning opportunities for all students. The list of your successes goes on and on. You deserve the accolades, but we need to give them as well.

An essential aspect of showing appreciation is first to be grateful – and we have a lot of people to thank. Certainly, we need to thank our students for trusting us, for following our leadership in the classroom, and of course for providing us with some laughs and many reasons to be proud. Most of our students have done everything we asked and have performed to the best of their ability. Students deserve a big thank you and a promise of our continued support.

Search out faculty, staff, and administrators who work hard and have gone the extra mile to help you and your students. Our colleagues deserve our thanks for their vital part in our professional career. Many of them laughed with us, felt our frustrations, and acted as our sounding board. Some of them have become important resources as well as valued friends. Do not forget others who have served us, including the cooks, custodians, secretaries, counselors, aides, advisory committee members, FFA Alumni, and other vital members of the school, community and program. Finally, give a heartfelt thank you to your school administrators. They deserve your gratitude and acknowledgement of their hard work and support.

When you show gratitude, you will quickly realize just how many things people do to make your life easier, more productive, and more enjoyable. In addition, you will find that your relationships will grow stronger, people will enjoy you more, they will not forget you, and they will know their contributions have been honored and valued. A sincere “thank you is a powerful tool that will return to you many times.

This is the time to reflect upon what you did right and well. It is a time for celebrating your hard work, efforts, and successes. It is a time to be thankful and to give thanks. Teaching is the profession where dreams are born. Keep the dreams alive for you and your students, and finish strong.