There's so much talk about teacher appreciation and volunteer appreciation that the whole concept can get intimidating.

Is it a brunch? Do you have to wash everyone's cars? Deliver flowers?

While I love all those things, I think we may be losing sight of the most effective, simple appreciation tip of all: actually saying thank you. Often.

The beauty is how quick and effective this can be. Get home from a nice event, and it might take you 5-10 minutes to fire off three short emails to the key volunteers complimenting the effort and offering your thanks. Two sentences. Twenty words. Seriously.

And those quick, immediate emails can be way more effective than a brunch for 50 people six months later.

In that spirit -- thank you from PTO Today and from me for all the great work you're doing at your school. You're making a huge difference