I work in a profession that you cannot always do show appreciation with flashy things or a raise. Often the students that I work with do so much for very little pay or none at all.
I really try to show them that their time and effort means a lot, and there are so many ways to show this gratitude without breaking the bank.
My favorite way is baking because you can always find something to hit a sweet tooth. This is a great way to personalize a token of appreciation to what that particular student likes.
But sometimes I decide to do other things.
I coordinate our volunteer note taker program at work. This is were a student who is registered in our office cannot take notes on their own due to their disability and have requested a note taker. I then recruit within their class for someone to volunteer to turn in a copy of their notes. It sounds easy, but semester after semester we still have 40-50% of our class requests unfilled. So I have been working to decrease that all semester. And successfully, I have gotten the unfilled request to about 25%. Whoop whoop.
One way I have found effective is constant contact with the classes and the students who do volunteer their time.
I wanted to say thanks for taking the time take effective notes and let us copy them. Although it may seem easy to turn in something you should be doing already, it can be added pressure to these students. Their notes are supposed to help someone else be academically successful, and that is a big reason why most people don’t follow through with this volunteer role. So I wanted to thank the 100 students who did this semester.
I made these treat bags to hand out one Friday when they all typically come to turn in their notes.
We got the candy bags from the dollar store, and the candy was on sale from Halloween. Then I just made the tags in Publisher and whole punched them to use the twist tie to attache them to the bag.
Since I had a lot of students, I went this route. I have made more intricate things in the past for a smaller group.
I made these “dynamites” out of Rolos, construction paper, and string.
You roll the Rolos in the red construction paper and glue them in place. Then tie three “sticks” together in the middle. You will also leave a little string out on the end as the “part you light.” Then I glued the circle in the middle with my note to the student.
I love the cheesiness factor, which I understand may get lost on some students. It is the thought that counts!
Do you have little ways/small gestures to thank people in your life?