Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When emails are better than post its....

Today is my 80th straight day of blogging.  Sometimes I feel like I'm dancing the same dance on a different day, and for that I apologize - especially if it seems that way to you as the reader.

Certainly, this month's focus on gratitude, with the questions provided by Te@chthought's superbloggers, Justine and Beth, have me singing along with the jingle bells on the commercials, even if it really isn't YET the holiday season.  

After 19 days of gratitude, I am still grateful.


 The Te@chthought Blog Challenge for Today:

Nov 19 Tell someone you know how grateful you are for the work they do. Share your story here.

It's 8 pm and I just got home.  How fortuitous it is for me that I have already done exactly as Te@chthought has instructed.  It is rare that I get a full 3 year jump on completing an assignment.

As I have mentioned numerous times, my experience in the Three Summers Program at UCONN was life-changing for me, as a connected educator, as a gifted specialist, and as someone who appreciates (and verbalizes) the little things.  Honestly, up until June 29, 2011, I'm fairly certain I would have THOUGHT about thanking a colleague, and I might even have said a quick thanks with a post it note or a quick conversation.  But the email below was probably much more meaningful for Dan than a Hershey kiss and a post it note.

And clearly, it meant enough for me to keep in my SENT box to remind myself to be a bit more grateful.

From: Susan
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:31 AM
To: Daniel
Subject: Thanks...

Hi Dan -

I'm sitting at UCONN in a class relative to enrichment differentiation, and flashed back on a comment you made to me at the end of the year, which I dismissed at the time.

I want to react on a more personal level to your comment about the success of the "Nations" activity that we did in your Honors 11 class last year.  While my usual reaction is to shrug and dismiss comments about how well that worked, I really feel the need to thank you for two things:

1.  You acknowledged the value of an enrichment opportunity that took a lot of time, and invited me in to do it anyway.
2.  You took the time to mention it as a highlight for the year...

I would very much welcome the opportunity to do this again, and even refine it further.

I apologize if I sound mushy and weird -- I'm incredibly saturated with gifted research and more reading than I've done in years on a single topic, as well as away from home and incredibly sleep-deprived, but loving every minute of it.

While I hope you get the admin position you so deservingly desire, I would love to work with you again and appreciate your educational professionalism and commitment to enrichment.

(And no, this was not a prompted assignment!  :)   )



Hi Susan,

Thank you so much for the wonderful email.  It was a nice surprise.  I really enjoyed having the opportunity to collaborate with you and would welcome the opportunity to do it again this fall.  Hope you are having a great summer!

Thanks, Dan

 As a means of a Post Script, Dan went on to become an administrator, leaving our district.  Occasionally I hear a report from a friend in that district about how much they love him there as well.

So I guess today's post serves as a reminder that I should be a bit more verbal with my gratitude -- and send some emails to those I really appreciate.  (And since I appreciate all of you so much, I strongly suggest that you watch "The Happy Secret to Better Work", a TED Talk by Shawn Achor.  It supports the idea of opening your email and writing one positive email every time you do so.  And it mentions baby unicorns.  Really.)

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