How to Thank a Teacher
As teachers and students are wrapping up the school year, parents and some students might be wondering about "teacher gifts." This is probably more common in younger grades, but as a high school teacher, I have received many gifts from students and their families. Usually it is something small (a bottle of lotion, soap, homemade cookies, maple syrup). I've also receieved gift cards (often for bookstores), and I have to admit that was nice. And once I received an extremely high-quality key chain from a famous fashion designer.
I have a suggestion for a gift that is virtually free. If you want to thank a teacher, do it in writing. The thank you notes and letters that I have received from students and their families are the most cherished gifts I have ever been bestowed, and I have saved every one. Even if it is scrawled on the crumpled page of a spiral notebook, and torn out with those little fragments dangling, I cherish a personal note.
So if you want to make your teacher, or your child's teacher, feel appreciated, write a personal note. It doesn't have to be long, but it should be specific. Saying "I appreciate all that you have done for my son" is not as meaningful as "thank you for igniting my son's interest in books" or "thank you for helping Johnny increase his vocabulary."
I'm thinking about this because I've gotten a couple of notes from students this year, and they carry so much weight for me. It means everything that J. says I inspired him to write, or that A. remembers my passion for literature, and thanks me for helping her come to love the poetry of John Keats.
I want to encourage anyone who didn't make it to BEA (and anyone who did make it to BEA) to spend some time checking out the posts at Armchair BEA. Since we have a three-day weekend, I'm going to grant myself the luxury of spending some time checking out all the participant posts. Next year I plan to participate more fully, and not just lurk the first few days.
Why Do We Book Blog
For an insightful take on the question of why we blog about books, check out this well-written and thoughtful post by Red at What Red Read.
This question of why book bloggers blog about books has been in the blogosphere lately. The Reading Ape has a whole series of posts on the topic, and it was a question for Armchair BEA posts.
A Question for You
The question of why I blog about books is one I'd like to save for a fully conceived post. But here are some thoughts: I blog about books because writing helps me organize my thoughts, because writing about the books I have read deepens my understanding of those books, because writing is how I engage with the world, because I write for the entire bookish audience (bloggers, readers, authors, my Mom) hoping they will write back. Because I want to be a part of the conversation.
If you are a book blogger, why do you do it? If you are a reader of book blogs, why do you read book blogs, and what do you most appreciate?