Thanks, Cheers, Danke, Merci, Gracias. The power of appreciation.

It’s OK to say “Well done” and “Thankyou”

I remember sitting in a lesson observation feedback in 2009 with the head and deputy who had been in my lesson for an hour. A string of ways in which the lesson could have been improved poured forth, no conversation just targets for improving my lessons. Brow-beaten and defeated I caught the bus home, destroyed. The lesson apparently was “Outstanding” yet I had left feeling like the worst teacher on the planet.

It really is OK to say “Well done” or “Thankyou”

The nature of teaching in this country is that we never stop and smell the roses. We are constantly in a rush to improve, If you’re not improving then you’re going backwards because you can be sure everyone else is relentlessly driving on. Ever Improving, never stopping. Relentless.

“Well done” and “Thankyou”

I have seen and undoubtedly been guilty of this negative-sum game, this destructive relentless drive for improvement where staff are often the casualty. Don’t slow down…keep pushing!

“Well done”

We have a habit of not celebrating what we do. Everything is an opportunity to improve.


It can be different. saying “Well done”, enjoying the moment, focusing on the gains rather than the losses. A smile, a pat on the back, a “Thankyou.” Tiny things, but when real and meant they make the world of difference. We don’t need vainglorious acts of generosity or effusive praise, those things are almost entirely about the leader rather than the member of staff who is the focus of it. What we do need to do however is to notice and appreciate. Stop and feel the moment, rather than dive headlong forward.

It really is OK to say ” Well done” and “Thankyou”. If I’m honest I personally think it will take you further forward and faster but that’s not the point.

Addendum… I think this works just as well for children as well, not points, or stickers or dojos, just real and honest appreciation of a job well done from someone they trust and respect.


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