#SOL19 Day 10 Spark!

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 5.28.56 PMFor the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.

Special Delivery

The other day I talked about quick writes as fan mail. Today I’ll share a quick write that has become a regular habit for me…notes of appreciation for colleagues.  I am lucky that I work with so many amazing teachers, and a lot of their day can be pretty isolated from their peers. I get to regularly visit their classrooms and see the great work they do. I want them to know that somebody sees and appreciations what they do every single day. I try to quick write a few notes to staff each week to let them know I notice. Sometimes it is a secretary, a librarian, a lunch lady, an administrator, or an ed tech as well as a teacher.

Appreciation Quick Writes

I found some cool envelope-shaped post-it notes that I use to create these mini letters of appreciation. You can see they are meant to be short and sweet-like a quick write. They fold up and seal just like an airmail envelope.

This week at our staff meeting, our principal did a similar quick write activity. She had slips of paper with everyone’s names on it 3 different times.  We were to draw out 3 names and quick write a note of encouragement or compliment to these colleagues. It could be anonymous or we could sign it. Everyone left the staff meeting with 3 encouraging notes written to them. Our principal is going to post them in the staff room so we can continue to feel the appreciation for one another.

This quick write activity takes less than 5 minutes but the positive effects can last a long, long time. If you don’t have fancy post-it notes don’t let that stop you. I invite you to try at least one “special delivery” quick write each day this week and spread some much needed loving kindness in your school (or community).


33 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 10 Spark!

  1. This Spark really speaks to me. I love flash drafting and think it could change so much about the way teachers and students feel and act about writing. I also believe that teamwork does make the dream work and when we think gratitude is clear to others my grandma’s notion of putting it in wring means more, is true. I shared this with my administration and my colleagues on twitter. Thanks for this marvelous idea.

  2. I think this is a great idea for literacy coaches, principals, and after all, we need encouragement and inspiration as much as our students do! What a great way to build and maintain a learning community. I just love it!

  3. Paula – what a wonderful way to spread the joy! And kudos to that principal for having the staff write appreciation notes. Makes for a writing – and caring – culture.

  4. This is a great idea! I’m a huge fan of thank you notes (and even teach them to my sophomores) but adding the quick write to them makes it even more accessible. And I love that your principal did this. Amazing. (Also, Walmart’s gonna need to stock up…)

  5. What a terrific idea, Paula! How lucky you are to be able to visit teachers in their spaces, seeing the great work they are doing. And it isn’t often that we receive notes of encouragement. Inspirational! — Christie

  6. I love this idea! My goal for this week is to send a letter a day to someone who works in the building. Last week, the students wrote and sent a letter to someone in their life congratulating them on a recent accomplishment. The letters were awesome. Thank you for the post and the idea!

  7. I love this idea, not only for teachers to do with each other but for students too. You could do this across a grade level or with grade level buddies. A great way to build relationships!

  8. This is a powerful activity with lasting effects on the climate; it will give some people that little bit of steam to press on, just as they’re about to run out. We did something similar at my school a few years back and called it Notes of Encouragement, basically to pick out colleagues and thank them for something. Everyone wrote and got notes. I used it primarily to show the power of writing and it went beyond what I expected. I suspect the same will happen there with you and yours – more slices to come, I hope! And — some teachers took it into their classrooms to build community. 🙂

  9. I love these post-its, but I especially love the idea of note-quick-writes. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and your post has just given me the right amount of affirmation.

    Thank you!

  10. Great idea!! I’m going to have my students quick-write every day starting when our break ends. I’m excited to see what they’ll do. Maybe I’ll take the time to write gratitude notes.

  11. When I was a school-based coach notes of appreciation were part of my regular practice. As a district coach I have let this practice slip. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of doing this.

  12. So sweet! I often find things like this “corny”, in reality, however, when I receive or give them, it does brighten my day!

  13. I think I am going to start that tomorrow in my house!! I will start with my hubby!! Thank you for the Spark!! I will then pick a different student each day to do the same!!

  14. I am on the look out now for those post it notes!
    I have had kids do anonymous thank you letters usually in November. The rules were they had to thank their person for something specific and they had to leave clues as to who they were. It was always a hit!

    I love this idea!

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