The Greatest Compliment – from Peers

As teachers we give compliments and positive reinforcement to our students day after day and year after year. Why, because it gives children positive goals to work towards instead of only focusing on negative consequences to avoid. Also positive reinforcement fulfills strong basic psychological needs of every individual and sets the tone as well as develops positive and caring relationship between people.

Over my short career as a teacher I believe that I have received what I would consider the greatest compliment a student could ever give me, just to be sure I checked with some members of my PLN if I was right. I believe the greatest compliment a student or parent could give me is  “thank you or you made a difference”, and I have been fortunate enough to hear this on more than one occasion.   I placed a short question on twitter asking what other teachers thought the greatest compliment was, and these are some of the responses I received:

Marisa Pavan Mtranslator@sram_socrates I feel flattered when my students are successful users of English, the language I teach. I feel I’ve been a good facilitator.

Pat Telfer MisterTelfer“Thanks!” That’s ll I need. RT @sram_socrates: PLN – As an educator what do you consider the largest compliment someone can give you?

Cecilia Coelho cecilialcoelho @sram_socrates – biggest compliment wld b 4 a ST 2 tell me, yrs l8r, that I made a difference, that I helped him/her make her life better.

Pat Telfer MisterTelfer @sram_socrates Hmm…I had a student tell me once that they “got” math because of me. That brought a smile to my face.

Michelle Baldwin michellek107 @sram_socrates “you helped me to love learning.”

Nicole FrenchGillies nfrenchgillies @sram_socrates Its not in the words but excited student who runs up to u after 2 years have passed

Jon F. Orech jorech @sram_socrates Highest compliment: “You really challenged me.”

Lee Kolbert TeachaKidd@sram_socrates when an ex student tells me about a lesson they remember and how it really helped them to this day.

chris harbeck charbeck @sram_socrates When a former student comes back and says Hi and tells you what has happened since. Remembers who you are.

hello_newman hello_newman @sram_socrates that I helped them/made a difference/taught them something useful.

These all confirmed my belief, reasoning’s and understandings in respect to why I teach, got into teaching and enjoy working with kids.  Recently however, I have found through my PLN and connecting with other educators another from of compliment, which in my opinion is just as rewarding and brings the same feeling to me.

We often get compliments from peers and thank yous from peers when we have assisted them with some task in and around school, but what about when we affect peers. Although I am new at the twitter and blogging world (started in March) I have found that getting compliments from colleagues and peers that you do not directly work with, as well as being mentioned by them in their blog posts is a great feeling.

A feeling that makes you think, WOW, I have in some way influenced another teacher or group of teachers. Personally, it doesn’t matter how it just makes me sit back and think. There are many teachers and administrators that have influenced and helped me get where I am today, and I am sure that there will be many more, but it is just a GREAT feeling when you are told that you do the same for others.

So to all the teachers, colleagues, parents, administrators and students that have helped me grow and continue to help and push me to grow thank you, I couldn’t have done it with out you and your influences. Also a special thanks to Chris Wejr, George Couros, Aviva Dunsiger, and Kelly Alford,  who have mentioned my influences on them and have told others that I have.

Thank you.


7 thoughts on “The Greatest Compliment – from Peers

    • Well, if that is the compliment, than thank you George, for helping me to finding a way to connect with educators around the world and for showing me multitude of ideas and possibilities so that I can embrace not only technology and social media but the ideas of PLE’s. Thanks George for what you have done so far and for that which is yet to come.

  1. I love this post, Shawn! I wish that I had seen your tweet about this. You have me thinking a lot right now about what my biggest compliment would be. I think that it would be that I made a difference.

    Thanks for getting me thinking tonight, and thanks for the mention in your post too!

    • Aviva I am grateful and excited to have you as part of my PLN, you are not only inspiring but very supportive. I am glad to mention an educator and friend such as yourself. As for the thinking, I tend to do that once in awhile, but that is what we should be doing for each other isn’t it. Make suggestions and present ideas that make us reflect and try new things. I thank you for having done that for me on more than on occasion.

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