A simple “thank you” can pay it forward

jcccamp Last evening I was invited to attend the monthly meeting held by my school district’s Board of Directors to share the news of the publication of my debut novel. I expected to “pitch” Violet’s Secret, so I brought a few copies to peruse and pass around and a short list of notes to help me remember what I wanted to say, since in my years of being a student and teacher in this school district, I’d never had the necessity or inclination to attend one of these meetings. Waiting for the meeting to begin, I actually sold a book to one of the parents of past students I’d taught, simply attending for information’s sake.

certificate6I was most pleasantly surprised that I was recognized first on the agenda by my supervisor (I’ll leave out her name for privacy’s sake, but she is the Superintendent of Curriculum). She presented me with a certificate of accomplishment and must’ve said several nice things that I can’t recall because I was so gratified by this gesture. It’s not that teachers are never appreciated with an occasional gift or luncheon, but I suppose being upheld in this venue for my competence, talent, and accomplishment, I was genuinely moved.

We all possess the power to make a difference. I use mine everyday (sometimes with better results than others) to reach my students, to turn them into readers and perhaps writers, to teach them to be thinkers and effective communicators. My supervisor used hers yesterday to motivate me to continue to write and become the valuable asset she’s recognized me to be, just by certifying my hard work. It’s a big cycle, so appreciate someone today. Tell them they did a good job or that they look nice, or say “thank you” to show your appreciation. It may seem like a simple gesture, but if it inspires one person, then it was worth it. Pay it forward.