Here is a simple teaching and parenting tip that applies to any time of the year.
My studio will offer its spring recital later today. As part of the preparations, I sat down and wrote out thank you cards to each of my students. The cards are small and my messages are brief, but what I wrote is unique to each student and comes from the wellspring of my heart. Inspired by Dr. Suzuki's writing individual haikus for students, I included brief cards with tiny messages that were full of life's meaning, which I found in a local stationery store.
As I wrote my cards, I thought about each of my students, what made them unique and special to me, and how much I appreciated them and was grateful for the opportunity to spend time with them every week.
This was a small gesture on my part, but the activity brought forth such feelings of warmth and goodwill and was worth every minute of the time I spent doing it. I highly recommend this exercise to teachers and parents. Do this little and often.
Parents: how nice would it be to teach your children to make a similar gesture back to the teacher?