If you have five minutes today, you have time to support your teacher. And best of all, it’s free. Here’s how:
Ask your kid their favorite thing about their teacher, or their favorite day at school so far this year, or something cool that happened at school recently. Or, pick your own moment where your teacher gave your kid some extra help, waited five extra minutes when you were running late, or was there at drop-off time to greet your kid with a smile.
Then, write an email to your principal to tell them about that moment.
Why send it to the principal? Because when your teacher hears that a parent told the principal how awesome they are, it’ll double the impact.
This idea is borrowed from a management principle called the “second-hand compliment.” We all know how it feels when someone at work says, “Hey, I heard from our colleague that you absolutely crushed that presentation last week!” It’s more powerful than someone saying “you did a great job on that project,” because it means that someone thought so highly of your work that they told someone else, who then told you.
Beyond the power of a second-hand compliment, the simple act of a positive email is also just a refreshing change of pace for teachers and principals. Principals and teachers often hear from parents who are concerned, frustrated, confused, or upset. It’s not uncommon: how many of us send a company’s customer service department an email to say how problem-free our experience was? But for teachers, it makes a big difference. When you send a short note of positivity, you support teachers as respected professionals, and send the message “We have your back, and we’re in this together.”