No matter how much we love what we do, we all have those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days that get us feeling down on ourselves. It’s in anticipation of those days that I started a “Feelgood Folder”, a manila folder where I store thank-you cards & letters, commendations, emails, and anything else I have received in appreciation for a job well done.
If memory serves, credit for this idea has to go to my cooperating teacher during my student teaching experience in the fall of 1998. I started my folder toward the end of that semester, and have been contributing to it here and there for 13 years now. In fact, given the broad scale shift to digital communication in that time, I even started a separate feelgood folder notebook in my Evernote.
It’s not something that has to be public like a blog or website (although there’s nothing wrong with a little shameless self-promotion from time to time), just someplace you can go to remind yourself of all the good you do for so many people every day. People in professions such as education give so much of themselves to help and support others that they too often neglect themselves. If you don’t have such a folder, consider starting one; if you’ve already got one, take some time to flip through it and enjoy some well-deserved recognition. If nothing else, it’s good for the soul.