I have a third grade boy, we'll call him Brian, who says, "Thank you, Mr. Allen" every day before he leaves. He's the kind of learner that makes it so easy to say, "You're welcome!" He leaves the classroom each day with a smile on his face!
I had two of his siblings and they both did the same thing... every day. Could it be good parenting? Of course. But, hearing a sincere "thank you" reminds me of the gift I'm given each day... the gift of working with terrific learners. And, the look in Brian's eyes tells me it's coming from his heart. He means it.
Recently, I was rereading bits and pieces of Life in a Crowded Place by Ralph Peterson—have you read it lately? It’s a great “old” read. He says, “Making a learning community—coming together, keeping together, and learning together—is not easy. It is far easier to dominate and require obedience. But if the prospect of encouraging the social nature of learning lets our students experience genuine learning and helps them to uncover ideas that make a sound in their hearts, isn’t that a compelling argument for trying?”
And hearing a "thank you" makes the end of each day realize that community is so important.
And, I humbly want to say, "No... thank you!"