Shannon Reed knows from experience how difficult teaching is.
“It takes a lot of time and energy, but it also takes a lot of emotional labor,” she said. “I think a lot of the time, students feel appreciation for what their faculty are doing but don’t necessarily communicate that.”
As the director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Regis, Reed created the Thank a Teacher program to help current professors, coaches, advisers, mentors and tutors understand their impact on students. To demonstrate their gratitude, students may submit notes online or fill out physical thank-you notes at designated boxes in Clarke Hall, Dayton Memorial Library, Claver Hall and the Pomponio Center.
“One of my hopes is that the Thank a Teacher program gets more of that gratitude back to faculty more often, and helps them continue to generate the energy they need to do this incredibly important but incredibly difficult work,” Reed said.
The idea for the project came from a faculty survey Reed conducted last year. When asked what most motivates them, 94 percent of faculty said that getting a thank-you note from students was very inspiring.
Reed researched other universities’ programs to see how she might bring a similar thank-you effort to Regis. She started Thank a Teacher in September and estimates over 200 notes already have been submitted.
Reed plans to create certificates of each submission to give to recipients as keepsakes.
Current and former students who would like to submit online notes for current professors, coaches, advisers, mentors and tutors may do so here. See below for samples of notes already submitted:
For Emily Wang, RHCHP: “Thank you so much for all you do! Your energy is contagious. You have taught me so much about life and how to be a good nurse!"
For Jalisa Williams, RC: “You taught me how to be a better, happier and kinder human being."
For Mohamed Lotfy, CCIS: ”Thank you for teaching me and helping me with deadlines."
For Craig Briggs, ACB: “I actually enjoy coming to your class and I like your creative ways of teaching, like the top 10 lists."
For Brian Baum, RHCHP: “Thank you so much for everything you do for your students! We know it's hard for professors with the technology difficulties this year, but know you are appreciated for all you do!"