If your school is anything like mine, it might sometimes feel that you are running through your school days, long on need and short on solution. In schools like ours, the needs that our students bring with them to school are daunting at best and often feel insurmountable…….

But then, through the help of parents, teachers, community members, support organizations, donations, social workers, counselors, and hours of hard work  and elbow grease, physical needs and emotional needs are attended to and learning takes place.    Nothing can solve a problem like a person and when it comes to the folks who support our schools we really don’t know what we would do without them!

With such awesome support, it’s always the right time to say Thank You! But it’s at this time of year when most of us become more intentional about our showing our gratitude.  So I thought I’d share a few of the reasons and ways that my students get to say “Thank You” this year!


One of our recent
donorschoose.org projects!

Because my classroom has benefited so greatly from donorschoose.org, my students are now accustomed to writing “Thank You” notes and now instead of explaining WHY we must say “Thank You”, I get to visit with my students about how to best express gratitude.  I LOVE having that conversation!  The more they write the “Thank You” notes, the more original and heart felt they have become.

Volunteer Appreciation Lunch

Nothing says “thank you” like a little food, and some great music.  I was thrilled to be able to have a group of 2nd grade students sing for our Volunteer Appreciation Lunch.May is a very busy time of year, so I try to keep things simple.We sang “You’re A Grand Old Flag” which we’ve most recently been singing patriotic music.We sang “Everybody Has Music Inside” which was a song that we performed for an “informance” in early April.  Finally, we added “We Appreciate You!” – Music K-8, Teresa Jennings which is a great very simple high energy “Thank You” Song.

Appreciation Party

My choir students benefited from some extreme volunteering this year!  We had a HUGE choir and not only did I have some other teachers volunteer their time, I had accompanists who provided their support for FREE!!!!!!  Needless to say, my choir had MUCH to be grateful for.  So as part of our end of year party we had what I called a party of appreciation.    While the kids were munching, we made a list of ALL of the folks who had helped us.  The assignment was to create a “Thank You” note for everyone.  After we made our list, we realized that writing all of those notes would be quite an event.  Luckily for us, we had one more meeting after our official party, so that last day, was the official “appreciation day”  Next year, I’ll have appreciation day first and then the party.  I really didn’t know how long it would take.  In any case, they really enjoyed making the cards for everyone and I was amazed at how creative students can be with simple markers and ordinary paper.


We always include music at our graduations.  I always choose songs that have a grateful element in them.

During the kindergarten graduation we will sing

“You Are My Sunshine”

“We Appreciate You” – Music K-8, Teresa Jennings

“This Land is Your Land”

For 5th grade graduation I’ve written a song that I have dedicated to the class of 2012.  I’ve written these songs each year that I’ve been at this school.  This coming fall I hope to have a school song selection where students and staff choose the song that they would most like to have as their school song.  An important element of each of these songs is gratitude.  I want to make sure that the lyrics reflect an attitude of appreciation for all of the folks who contribute to our school.

The right song is the perfect way to express the gratitude of an entire group and a Thank You note is always appropriate.  As teachers who teach the whole school, we can have a huge impact on our campus culture as we provide opportunities for students to practice appreciation.

How do you teach your students to say “Thank You”?