Make the difference

LBO Sept 2017

My younger daughter is a nurse, recently qualified. I am naturally a proud Dad for an off-spring choosing a caring and demanding profession.  I am always interested to hear of her experiences although some are not for the squeamish.  However one piece of insider information that is nice to hear is that there is apparently always at least one box of chocolates open in the staff rest room – the result of a gift from a grateful patient.

Judging by the shelves in shops these days, groaning under the weight of thank-you cards and an assortment of presents, it has become commonplace for pupils to present their teacher with a small gift at the end of the school year, especially in primary schools. There is nothing wrong in this, indeed it seems a lovely thing to want to do so long as it is kept within bounds and does not become an expectation.

A small gesture of appreciation by a pupil or parent can be something that sticks in the memory. As pupils disembark from the coach after a school trip, the occasional pupil who stops to say simply “thank you for taking us” can mean so much.

From time to time, an email or letter arrives in school praising a member of staff or some aspect of school. These are of course most welcome and are always pinned up on the staffroom noticeboard before being added to the Compliments File.  This sits next to its companion file headed Complaints!

If only that pupil or her parent understood fully the power of the compliment – a simple acknowledgement of something well done.

This was all brought to mind when I read a recent newspaper headline about a former pupil who donated a kidney to his teacher. That is a quite extreme and selfless form of thanks!

Now well into the new school year I have no expectation or wish for boxes of chocolates let alone organ donation. I do look forward however to passing on to dedicated colleagues the occasional “thank you” from pupils and parents.  What a difference it can make.

 

 

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