Each spring during Teacher Appreciation Week, we try to do some things to make our teachers and entire staff feel appreciated. For most of us, you can reach our hearts through our stomachs, so good food is typically a part of this expression of appreciation. Down through the years we have done different things to show our appreciation for our staff. We have fed them, given them gifts, etc., but a few years ago we discovered a cost effective and meaningful way to allow our students to show their appreciation for the staff. We set up a station at lunch and allow students to stop by and write thank you notes that will be delivered to our staff. This seems to be something that means a lot to our staff.
Periodically, I will receive one of these thank you notes, and this past school year I received a very interesting one that I would like to share with you. The note read, “Mr. Gritton, Thank you for the great year!! I wish next year rules will be more better not like a rules that doesn’t make sense. The rules that make kids follow and agree not for them to resist.”
Perhaps we should have one of our English teachers give the student who wrote this anonymous thank you note a little direction, but the note was most likely written by one of our international students who is still struggling with the English language. I doubt I will change any of our rules due to this young person’s request in their thank you note, but I am appreciative of their expression of thanks and disdain for our rules.
As guests visit and tour our campus, I often like to connect them to any of our students we encounter while out on the campus. During those encounters, I often ask students to share with our visitors what they like and don’t like about being an Oneida student. Typical negative responses are about the food and the rules. In regard to the food, you can tell by looking at my picture accompanying this article that we are not starving here at Oneida. We eat pretty well. In regard to the rules, kids need structure, but they usually don’t like structure. Even adults need structure.
Our desire within the Oneida ministry is for every lesson we teach to be permeated by the gospel truth. We want biblical integration in all we do because God’s Word is our rule book and instructional guide for life. Perhaps on your next visit you can meet some of our young people benefiting from the structure Oneida provides. Thank you for helping equip our staff with the necessary means and tools to reach the world for Christ.