As professors, how often do we thank our students? No, really. I tend to thank them at the end of the term (and I genuinely mean it), but I don’t tend to thank them when they’re actually in the trenches. So, to my students who are currently halfway through a term:
Thank you for waking up at 5am to take a class before you head to work, or for taking a class in the evening when you’ve already had a full day.
Thank you for asking questions that make me think, even though I’ve been teaching these same courses for 5 years.
Thank you for challenging what you’re being taught.
Thank you for giving me feedback so I can shift my lesson plans and improve courses.
Thank you for sharing your experiences in class.
Thank you for sending your papers to me early for feedback.
Thank you for doing the readings! (Double thank you for this one!)
Thank you for trusting that you will still learn the content even if I don’t lecture to you for 2 hours.
Thank you for taking ownership of your own learning process.
Thank you for staying in communication with me, so I can help you be successful.
Thank you for taking risks.
Thank you for being creative.
Thank you for sharing the important events in your life.
Thank you for wanting to make change, and not just accept the status quo.
Thank you for entering (or continuing in) the teaching profession, in a time when it is fraught with such controversy; you are sorely needed.
Thank you for devoting time to your own education.
Thank you for being a model of lifelong learning for your children.
Thank you for saying “I don’t understand,” even when you feel embarrassed.
Thank you for treating this pursuit as worthy of your time and effort.
Thank you for trying to master the concepts, not just complete the tasks.
Thank you for understanding that I am balancing a family and a personal life with my work, just like you.
Thank you for taking part in something revolutionary in the field of education.
Thank you for consistently pushing me to be better.