Joy in Service – Day 3 Thank a Teacher

December 3, 2011
Giving flowers to random people at the grocery store, volunteering at an English as a Second Language center, giving away plants, leaving your favorite magazines at the library or doctor’s office. Making an auction quilt, donating toys, packing up a a friend’s kitchen for a move.
So many ways to make the world a better place.
Here is an idea for today – say thank you to a teacher.
My parents were both public school teachers and so are some of my best friends.
Dad in his LavaLava
Mom, teaching in Samoa
Since my parents retired they’ve just kept on teaching. Locally in their rural community, in the prisons, in eastern Germany, and at a boarding school in Western Samoa.
My love of teaching probably comes from them but I’ve got to admit that I’m very spoiled. 
I honestly believe they have the hardest job in America.
But I don’t have do deal with students who don’t want to be there. I don’t have parents telling me I’m doing my job wrong. I don’t have politicians telling me how to do every second of every day of my job. I don’t spend every evening grading papers and planning lessons and doing page after page after page of added forms of paperwork because every spare moment in during school is taken up by meetings. 
Look up that one teacher from way back when and send them a thank you note. In writing. Through the mail.

Instead of simply sending in a candy bar to your child’s teacher – send them a note telling them exactly why you appreciate what they do.

You should also nominate your favorite quilt teacher for this. Then send them a note too.

Teacher of the Year Nomination Form

Do You Know A Great Teacher?
Help us find our 2012 Professional Quilt Teacher of the Year

For the 26th year, The Professional Quilter will honor an outstanding quilt teacher with its Teacher of the Year award. The winner will be chosen by her or his peers on the basis of written answers to a questionnaire. The winner will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Commitment to development of fine workmanship and personal expression of students;
  • Involvement in and contributions to the field of quiltmaking; and
  • Professionalism, including personal code of ethics and serving as a role model.

I apologize – I don’t usually talk politics here. But one thing that frustrates me to no end are people and politicians who disrespect public school teachers. I want to say to them, “Stand in their shoes for a month. You wouldn’t last a week! And you certainly wouldn’t ever consider doing the job for what they get paid.” Teachers don’t do it for the money or because they “can’t perform in the real world!” They do it because they have want to make the world a better place.

So tell me what else you did today to make the world a better place.
(my first little random pile of thank you goodies will go out Monday to some of you.)
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  • Reply
    December 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    There is a great Thank a Teacher video that I think is something that all teachers should be sent! Please check it out at and pass it along to anyone that has taught you a meaningful lesson and inspired greatness in yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    ms lottie
    December 4, 2011 at 8:46 am

    This is a great idea. I think I'm going to write a note to my boy's teacher right now.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Today, I thanked the teacher of our encaustics class. Last month, I talked a patient/friend of mine into taking our first encaustics class together. She has been ill for a very long time now, and had expressed a desire to learn something "artsy." I found an encaustics class, and, despite her fear of trying a new thing, she signed up to take the class with me, and we had a blast. My gift to her was finding something that brings her such joy – her gift to me is allowing me to share her excitement in creating such beautiful art!

  • Reply
    Pam L.
    December 4, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Teachers are amazing. Both my sisters are teachers, my grandfather was a teacher, my uncle was a teacher, I used to be one, and my best friend is a teacher in the learning center at the Rescue Mission where she works. On Thursday she will be undergoing a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. So my service to her was to send out a prayer request to all the prayer warriors I know and to ask them to send it to all the prayer warriors they know and so on. Though she lives out of state, on Thursday, I will pray her through her surgery.

    We need more really great teachers in this world. And every day, in some small way, each of has the opportunity to be one, simply by sharing who we are, and what we know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Rachel Parris
    December 4, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Today I held a young friend tight and just let her cry without asking for an explanation. All I had said was, "Are you ok? You seem a little down." She was working in a fast-paced higher end restaurant and there was no time for in-depth discussion. At the moment she did not need advice..she needed a safe place to cry. We will talk later.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I think I will send a note to the woman who really turned me on to contemporary free motion machine quilting. She's a little wacky and definitely a wild child at heart, but she opened my eyes and put the fire in my heart. Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Love you, Lyric. Thanks for your Joy in Service month!

    I would also recommend not forgetting to thank the "support staff." They do SO MUCH for the kids, and because they don't have the same parental connections, they get many fewer thanks… and often much lower pay. Office managers, who are first in and first out, keeping track of every student in the school to make sure they get home when they're supposed to be… recess aids who keep the playgrounds safe and prevent bullying where it could bloom otherwise, custodians who have to do some real dirty work. Yes, thank the teacher, but also think about those who also make a difference in the same places.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Lyric – I read about this on the Quilsart list and love this idea. A friend of mine did it one year – a kindness thing. Letting a car merge, paying someone's toll behind you at a toll booth or for a cup of coffee at a Starbucks. Thanks for making me think of his again. Tomorrow will be my beginning.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Lyric, I am so glad you posted this on QA. I am really excited about it.

    My contemporary textile group has an exhibition on in my town. Most of the members live at a distance or have children or other day jobs. So, I have offered to do most of the invigilating on my own as the gallery is open from 11-3 Fri and Sat each of the three weeks.

    Yesterday there were several opportunities to just talk with or listen to stories from people who saw it through the window and came in. (It is a new gallery and so great for the people of my town who haven't had much chance to be exposed to Art) One couple couldn't read well, but really connected with a couple of the pieces, so I read out the stories behind the work from the booklet for them.

    A few weeks ago, I left a bag of boiled sweets in the staff room at the community college where I teach. We were coming up to inspection. I teach in the evening,so the people who work in there didn't know who they were from, but I saw a little bowl of them by the reception desk, so someone is enjoying them! I have been sending special notes to the heads of our dept and the lady just above them encouraging them through the stress time of the inspection. We got good results!

    Sandy in the UK
    This is really good.Thanks!
    I am going to see what I can do for a lady with MS who comes to church. She brings flowers from her garden. I am going to look something out to give her tomorrow! Maybe something festive to decorate her wheelchair!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you, sis!!

  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Debbie sent this via email…

    I am a semi-invalid and about the only places I go to are medical providers. My husband and I get quite a few magazines and we have been recycling them to the trash company for quite awhile. But I also keep quite a few to take with me to leave in dr's offices and anywhere else that uses them. People can read them there or take them home. Another option I used to do is take them to the library–they are usually free to any taker. It's doesn't require money or use extra gas and I get a kick out of anonymously sharing my interests.

    Debbie D'Amelio

  • Reply
    Quilter Beth
    December 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    As a retired public school teacher, I want to let you know how much I appreciate this post. I received an email of appreciation from a former student just this week; it truly touched my heart (and brought tears to my eyes). Thank you for suggesting this.

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