Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Sweetest Compliment of All

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message."
~Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter

I was given a compliment today…about my profession…by an engineer…ahem. So what’s the big at deal? Well, glad you asked-I rarely get compliments (let alone comments) about my job. Usually it’s an- ‘oh- how sweet’ or ‘Gee, how about that’…then-you can hear crickets till someone has to tell a joke or something. He went on to tell me how teachers like me create a foundation for kids to be excited about knowledge and learning. How we and all educators were necessary to plant that seed of passion for learning. Then he thanked me. I sat there for a minute…mouth hanging a bit open (oops). Sure, I believe everything he said…it’s just really nice to hear it said back to you.
Then I thought, ‘Wow, I must always be prepared for a battle and never prepared for a compliment’. I thanked him.
That wasn’t really what was so interesting, though. I know- I know- get to the point…
I realize that there is nothing I was given that I didn’t receive. There were so many instrumental people in my life that have been examples to me, led and guided me. I can only do what I do and be the ‘teacher’ he described because I had been properly taught and instructed. After over 20 years of working with families and children and putting up my dukes against burn-out…hey, it’s not all easy-peisy-lemon-squeesy, but it’s worth it.
I am thankful for all the opportunities I have been given to teach, and all those that have taken time to invest in me. That really was my secret all these years to avoiding burn out-being thankful and being positive.
The ones that invest in me the most are the kids; they spend the most time with me. Yes, I thanked the engineer for the compliment – I also believe it would be a compliment the kids would give me(or any of us awesome teachers) if they could formulate it but, they show me in the classroom each day, instead; by the way they play, work, and display acts of friendship with each other, and ultimately, that…..THAT….. is the sweetest compliment of all.


Mr. Halpern said...

Lovely post. A surprise compliment really is the sweetest. :)


Barbra The Bloggess said...

Thank you very much...I agree.

Dan Gurney said...

The best compliment, is, just as you say, children showing kindness, gratitude, and generosity towards each other.