A story for the end of term…
As I thought about an appropriate gift for my daughters teachers this week, I found myself thinking back to work. I talk about appreciation and the difference it makes in organisations every day but actually it makes a difference everywhere – the same rules apply.
The majority of people want to be valued for what they do, they want to know that you noticed, that you listened, that you appreciate them and that they made a difference to you in some way.
Chloe-Lou, my eldest, is just about to finish reception and we received her first report last week. All I can say is WOW…I’m not just saying WOW because it was a lovely read, which it was…my main WOW was how well her teacher knows our little girl. This wasn’t just a few lines about how well she was reading and writing. This was a heartfelt, genuine account of the last year interjected with stories. It was my little girls wholehearted journey through her first year at school. This was not a rushed report, this was a considered, genuine, well-written account of observations and interactions (interestingly it was also like reading my own performance appraisal but that’s a different story!!!!). It highlighted so many positives and it constructively gave us learnings to work on which were specific and detailed enough so we know how we can support her more. I love that you could tell how much she was cared for through the words that were chosen and the genuine affection that has existed from the minute she walked through the door last September.
Earlier this week, I caught Chloe-Lou’s teacher and I said thank you. I said some of the things I mentioned above to her face and her words back to me were ‘Ooo I’ve got goosebumps’. I only said ‘some of the things’ as I then wrote a thank you card that said all of the above as I wanted her to be able to read it again if she chose to and to keep it and to remember that she is valued by us and by Chloe-Lou and that she has made a massive difference in creating a really positive first experience of school for all of us. I enjoyed doing all of this. It made me feel great. Chloe-Lou wrote a little card too and really it took no time at all. Our gift didn’t cost much, it was a packet of seeds. A packet of seeds that said on a card:
“There was a child who wanted to write
But didn’t know where to start
Begin with a seed, begin with a seed,
Begin with a seed and a story will start growing!”
Appreciation changes everything in all areas of our lives – with ourselves, with our families, with our friends, with the person in our local shop through to the people we work with in our organisations. It’s a powerful and oh so simple thing, don’t forget to use it!