Education Politics/Community SPM/MM

20 Things Teachers Love To Hear You Say

There are a lot of things teachers don’t want to hear their students say. Like anything involving an insult or the 4,768th question about whether we can just do nothing today. But there are a few things that get us teachers going and that pretty much light up even the darkest of our days.

Curious how you can make a teacher’s year today? Here it is: 20 things teachers love to hear you say.

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Oh. I get it!  There’s nothing quite as sweet as the sound of a light bulb clicking in a student’s head.  When a student exclaims that s/he understands with such excitement and pride, it makes our hearts swell.

This study guide/graphic organizer/practice session/model was so helpful.  Thanks for putting it together!  You’re welcome, kiddos.  We’re glad it worked and that you benefited from it.  That’s our ultimate goal.

I was so excited to come to class today.  If what we’re doing in class makes a student actually look forward to coming, we know we’re doing something right.

Oh man! It’s time to go already?  Same thing here.  If a student wants to stay, it means s/he finds her or his time with us both comfortable and rewarding.

I didn’t like that assignment/activity/project/lesson we did last year, but this year I realize just how helpful it was.  Yep.  This really does happen.  And when students go out of their way to tell you they see the value in something they didn’t immediately think was relevant, you feel better about all the initial mumbling and grumbling.

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This reminds me of what we did last quarter.  Students making connections across material is almost as exciting as winning the lottery, I tell you.  Almost.

I seriously think you’re the funniest teacher I’ve ever had.  Well, at least some people get my humor!

It’s clear you are truly passionate about the material you teach.  Teaching is one of the most vulnerable practices we partake in.  We are opening up our very best selves to hundreds of students per day (or per year).  When they recognize the joy we find in and the love we have for our profession, it affirms everything we do.

This class was so fun/interesting/challenging/relevant last year.  I miss it!   Whether they remember all the content or not, knowing that our class stood out to them and made a positive impression leaves us with the hope that whatever they did retain will stay with them for a lifetime.

I brought you some chocolate/coffee/candles/newspaper clippings about what we’re learning because I know you like it/them so much.  You mean you noticed?! It truly is an incredible feeling knowing students see us as people with our own set of preferences and quirks in addition to their teachers.

Can I confide in you about something?  Though it can be scary knowing a student is about to reveal his or her most personal struggles, it means a lot to know he or she feels secure enough in our presence to open up.

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I’m really sorry I didn’t do my homework/disrupted class/cheated on the quiz/spilled my drink all over the floor.  Sincere apologies from students mean they respect us and our classrooms enough to want to do better and know we respect them enough to give them another chance.

My student just loves your class.  That students are talking about our classes in positive ways at home means they find the content interesting and valuable enough to share with family.  And that is pretty incredible, especially if they’re teenagers.

Thanks for taking the time to come to my student’s IEP/504/staffing meeting.  A parent once said this to me, and it was the highlight of my week.  I so appreciated her recognition that being there meant I was working outside contractual hours but that I cared about her child so much I showed up anyway.

Hey. Just wanted to let you know we appreciate all the hard work you’re putting into your classroom/your leadership role/your committee/your after school club.  The other administrators and I were just discussing what a great job you’re doing.  BAM.  Something as simple as recognition for time well spent can put that that extra pep in our step.

Are you enjoying your fall break/winter break/spring break/summer break? Lord knows you deserve it.  Why, yes we are, and thank you for asking!  It’s quite enjoyable and exciting to attend conferences we didn’t have time to attend during the school year, collaborate with colleagues, spend time with family, and plan great lessons for the incoming batch of students next year.  And being able to read the occasional book for fun without feeling guilty about the stack of grading left to do is amazing, too.

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The parent group has put together a breakfast/lunch/snack to thank you for your time at conferences/open house/professional development.  Hee-ya!  Thank you, parents!  Food and coffee get us as excited as a kid on his first visit to Disney World.

Here.  I brought you some tissue/dry erase markers/number 2 pencils/scotch tape because my student noticed you were low.  Could we kiss you?  Like, on the lips?  Because when we run through the materials the budget allots (which is in September), we’re spit out of luck unless we want to spend our own money on supplies for the next 8 months.  Thank you doesn’t even express our gratitude for your thoughtfulness!

We support you.  Whether it’s regarding a grading decision or discipline issue, those three little words let us know parents and administrators are all in for working as a team in the students’ best interests.

Thank you.  It’s natural for people to focus on the negatives in life.  But one thank you from a student or parent can erase 20 negatives in a heartbeat.  And sometimes, a simple thank you is all it takes to make our year.

What do you love to hear from students, parents, and administrators?