Day 152 (of 184) taking a compliment
Sometimes I have to remind myself “just take the compliment”. It’s not something I am good at. I love it when our school gets attention, I’m proud when my staff gets public displays of affection/acknowledgement, but I cringe when I see my name or photo in the newspaper.
Education is always a roller coaster of feedback – very easily will we get praise and criticism for doing the same ‘thing’. What one parent/student loves, another is frustrated by.
And then I saw a picture…
NOT that I’m claiming to be a “true genius” BUT I do appreciate the imagery in terms of “compliments being distractions”. I know there is still a lot of work to be done, and a lot that I can do better, but I can’t/won’t do it on my own. And I won’t allow myself to get distracted by ego-boosters.
Which is part of the reason that I am taking advantage of the community newspaper as a means to reach out to our entire learning community: our newsletters only reach our parents; our website gets viewed by a wider variety; our school twitter feed has a great mix of our greater learning community (well beyond our school district even) but I know our newspaper gets read by a larger audience. And I appreciate how it has helped us share out our work on:
self-regulation (with a focus on anxiety)
technologization (specifically bringing in iPads as a model of mobile devices and encouraging BYOD practices)
All three of these ‘main goal areas’ have their fans and their detractors. I appreciate the debate and discussion that has come from this ‘publicity’. It is the discussions about the topics that helps me feel more confident in what we are doing; I also don’t have all the answers, and love having a Professional Learning Network that is there to assist with their experiences & opinions as well (the smartest person in the PLN is the PLN).
Yet the key is that there is no ‘one’ person making everything work – there are teachers who are taking the lead in many different areas and helping ‘us’ all become ‘better’. But as principal, I know that I’m often the ‘gatekeeper’ that people will send ‘compliments and criticism’ to.
It’s not easy, but I am working hard on “taking compliments” that come in. Then I do what I do much better: genuinely thanking the complimenter, and acknowledging the members of the learning community who are doing so much work to make our school such an amazing place to be part of; because being part of an amazing learning community means that you will be dealing with compliments…..just don’t be distracted by them!