By Rachel Kalusin

Students at this university celebrated their teachers by sending Thank-A-Grams to their favorite professors during Thank a Teacher Week, which is from May 8-12. Throughout the week, events to celebrate teachers were held, including free ice cream, free movie night and an award ceremony.

The events are organized by the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center and sponsored by more than 20 organizations.

During this week, students also sent Thank-A-Grams to teachers they appreciate. Thank-A-Grams are letters sent from students to professors with a personalized message. Students had the option of writing a postcard at one of the many stations around campus or sending a virtual gram through the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center.

The postcards are being delivered through the campus mailing system and TLTC has created their own system for collecting and distributing the virtual cards. They are being sent out throughout this and next week.

This is the first year Thank a Teacher Week has included the Thank-A-Grams. TLTC came up with the idea during a staff retreat last summer.

Dr. Scott Roberts, Director of Instructional Excellence and Innovation for TLTC, organized the campus-wide event.

Teaching is one of the most important aspects of the university’s mission, but it is not always recognized and celebrated as much as it could be,” he said. “By inviting students and alumni to reflect on their experience and express appreciation for those who have really made a difference in their lives, we give teachers, and the impact they have, the honor they deserve.”

Dr. Ryan Curtis, a psychology professor and assistant director of undergraduate studies, appreciated that although students are stressed during the week prior to finals, they take the time to appreciate teachers.

“I really appreciate the students who take the time to thank me during this week,” Curtis said. “This part of the semester is the most stressful for many teachers. Often, the students we speak with are upset about their grades or are going through some sort of problem. It is nice to hear positive feedback to balance out the negative.”

Shoshanna Dintzer, a junior government and politics and criminology major, wrote a Thank-A-Gram to one of her favorite professors, who she believes has gone above the expectations of a teacher.

“I wanted to write a Thank-A-Gram to one of my favorite teachers because this is my second semester with her and both classes I have taken have been wonderful,” Dintzer said. “She really goes above and beyond for her students by holding tons of office hours and checking out research projects. I wanted her to know she was appreciated.”

By Tuesday night, more than 1,000 Thank-A-Gram postcards were collected and over 700 virtual Thank-A-Grams were sent.

Friday is the last day students can send Thank-A-Grams.

To send a gram, students can go to a postcard station located at the Student Involvement Suite in the Student Union from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. or inside McKeldin Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students can also send a virtual gram online at the teaching and learning transformation center website.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Corey Leopold’s Flickr account.

Rachel Kalusin is a junior journalism major and can be reached at rkalusin@gmail.com.

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