Goal: Voice Your Appreciation

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 16

Thank you candy heart

In 1996, I taught education classes at a hands-on science museum. For years I taught the same three siblings. The older brother was a nice student who was very responsible in looking after his younger brother and sister who were 6 year-old twins. The girl was the sweetest child. Everyday she’d give you the brightest smile and a hug. However, her brother suffered from severe anger issues and ADD. He confessed to seeing a therapist because he wanted to strangle his sister. Everyday he would get in fights with the other children.

The museum internship was preparing me to be an effective educator. The focus was on developing hands-on lessons that helped students make real world connections. My program director was an impressive mentor. When working with this angry 6  year-old she would not let us blame the child. She challenged us to try various methods with him to inspire him to improve his behavior. After the third summer of having this student, I finally figured out how to motivate him. We became friends that year and I would laugh with him. I found out he worked best alone and with his hands. Often, he needed alone time and did not work well in pairs. This is when I first began learning how effective learning stations are for classroom management. However, this was the last year he attended the summer program. I often wondered if I had helped him and worried about him.

In 2005, I began working closely with a nun at a high school. You can read about her impact on my life here. One day I walked into her classroom and noticed the boy  I had taught was sitting in the first row. Later, I asked her about his progress and she related how he was a star student, one of the most well-behaved and highest achieving students. I was overjoyed!

The Challenge

Yesterday, Joan Young, @flourishingkids, tweeted to me, “I think sometimes we forget to tell those who inspire us that that they are important in our journey.” Many of you who have taught for awhile may have stories like the one I related where years later we find out that we made a difference. That is why today’s goal is to voice your appreciation for someone. The long-term goal is to continually voice our appreciation for those who impact our learning journeys. These are a few ideas, but please feel free to offer more:

  • Send a message through social media outlets!
    • Dedicate a song through BlipFm.
    • On Facebook, post a photograph of a memory from decades ago and comment on how the person made a difference that day.
    • Recommend an educator for an award and let the colleague know why you voted. Sean Banville recently posted a great BBC award site to recommend a teacher.
  • Call one of your family members and thank the member or write a blog post about the family member. My father was so excited by this post I wrote about him.
  • Send an e-card with your message. My favorite e-greetings site is Care 2 Cards where your card supports a cause.
  • Make an Animoto video or Blabberize the message. You can find more services to show appreciation here!


Voice your appreciation to someone. Tell someone how he or she has contributed to your learning journey!

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This is goal 16 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post with more details!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

Who will you appreciate today and how? Do you remember a a time when someone voiced appreciation for you?

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations


  1. another great post!
    I am very lucky to work with the person who has inspired my teaching the most. The elementary librarian, Phyllis, who helped me get started and continues to amaze me as she pushes herself to new accomplishments. Thanks for encouraging us to remember!!

    • Beth,

      That is amazing you get to work with someone you admire. I think it is great to be able to work with people we enjoy being around. This really inspires us and makes a difference on our attitudes with the students.

  2. Shelly,
    Awesome post! I have definitely learned a lot about this important skill from the way I see you interact with others in our PLN.

  3. Shelly,
    I’d like to take just a few minutes to thank YOU! You are one of the most positive people in education that I have met and you encourage me each and every day to become a better teacher, better blogger, and better person. I’ve only “known” you for just a few weeks, but I admire you in so many ways. Thank you for all that YOU do!

  4. What a wonderful story and reminder. So often I wonder about students I had, did I do enough to make them feel loved, accepted, safe. Did I challenge them enough to make a change. Thank you for the reminder that we need to appreciate those who have been inspiration in our lives.

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