I know that each of us has worked on a team or campus where people complain. Where people are negative. They don’t like a certain person and talk about it all the time. They don’t like a decision that was made and complain to you about it for hours (or sometimes days). The parents are annoying. The kids are annoying. The curriculum, the school board, the central office, the principal, the cafeteria workers, and so on. If we look for just a few minutes it is very easy to find something to be negative about.
But often, what I think is even more dangerous is when we begin to talk negatively about ourselves.
I have a few educator friends that I talk to on a regular basis. One of those friends, every time I will compliment him or say something was impressive, he will shoot me down. Tell me it’s not that big of a deal, that everyone does it. Or that others do much greater/cooler things than him.
I have another friend who every time I compliment or encourage him, he ignores it and flips it on me and how I do something well. And I am constantly trying to get him to accept the compliment. To feel worthy.
And I have one more who with every compliment, he says “yes, but I have lots of growing to do” or “well I’m not as great as __________”.
I get so frustrated when trying to build them up because it seems like they don’t even believe in their own greatness.
And then I find myself doing the exact same thing when I am complimented or encouraged. I deflect the compliment. I say I’m not as good as someone else. I claim you just “caught me on a good day”.
Why is it so hard, for us as educators, to take a compliment? Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves and negative about what we are doing right. We’re all in this profession because there is something great that we do. And though it’s hard to remember that, we must.
I will always remember what Angela Maiers told me… she said “Why aren’t you sharing your genius with others? When you sit there and don’t ever share your great ideas or what you do in your class/school, you’re doing a disservice to others in our field, because then no one gets to learn from you and you bring great things to the table”
I see every team member on our campus do something incredible on a daily basis. It’s why I’m always pushing them to share out their class activities on Social Media, I want the rest of the world to see!!
So this week my challenge to you is, try and make it a point to accept any compliments that come your way and take some time to share your brilliant ideas with others.