Teachers are dedicated, passionate people, so as a principal I encourage my teachers to recharge their batteries over the summer. At the same time, I try to stay connected enough to them that they’ll come back in late July feeling excited and knowing how much I value them. Here are five ways I use the summer to set the stage for the fall and stay connected with your teachers.

1) Handwritten thank-you notes

Once I get everything settled down from the end of the school year, I hand-write a personal note to every teacher and mail it. Email or text might be quicker, but there’s something so powerful about getting a note from your principal in the mailbox. Starting in mid-June, I write five to seven notes every night until I’ve sent a thank-you note to each of my teachers.

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This year my notes will all relate to our mindset of the year, “We Are Connected.” These notes don’t have to be long. I just tell each teacher how grateful I am for them, and include one personal thing such as, “I know this year was hard because you had a baby and you were learning to balance, but you rocked it. I just wanted you to know how proud I am of you for that.” Or, “Hey, you ended your first year! Take a deep breath. Enjoy the summer and know that you’re appreciated.”

About the Author:

Tracey Smith is the principal at Brookwood Elementary School in Forsyth County, Georgia, where they use the 7 Mindsets portal to help choose their mindset of the year. Follow her on Twitter: @tbsmith01.