Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's swell of you (Duke Ellington)

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash
Appreciation was mentioned in my last post as something I received a lot of in my job at Westmount school.

But I wasn't prepared for this!

To be honest, I feel a little overwhelmed at the moment (can you be a little overwhelmed or is overwhelmed a thing that can't be quantified? Not sure). But I digress.

This week, I've had some lovely gifts from students, parents, the staff, the trust that operates our school, and the National Leadership team. Amazing gifts - food, wine, gift tokens, cards (a lot of peanut butter!!). 

It's been amazing!

All this in a week when we had the Magic Weavers' Awards at our national prizegiving. My Kaipara campus came up empty this year (we won two or three last year). 

But that's not the gripe from my colleagues.

The idea of celebrating a few out of the many has prompted a lot of debate within my staff. 

En Zedders like equity; we practise the tall poppy syndrome with some diligence. 

As a country, we were foundered on the concept that no one was better or worse than others and that still pervades - probably more so in teaching where we are so used to collaborating and working with others to make everyone better.

As a people, we are suspicious of the rogue ones (sorry 'bout the gratuitous Star Wars reference), the lone wolves, the popularity contest winners, the too good to be trues.

Teachers are also reluctant to adopt free market business strategies like performance pay, bonuses, and the idea that although we're all equal, some of us are more equal than others.

We just are, okay? 

Teachers like me went into the profession for noble reasons, not for money. I've tested this theory a lot and many of my colleagues wouldn't even know what their salary was.

So, back to me and the appreciation I've felt recently.

All of the gifts I received were amazing. The power of words - you can't put a money value on being told the following by your colleagues:

  • He is brilliant at sorting out issues
  • Weaves magic into the hearts of each staff member
  • Plenty of humour
  • Love working with him
  • His positive energy and solutions based attitude have been inspiring
  • Despite being an Arsenal fan, he is a Westmount Champion

Do you now see why I'm a little overwhelmed?

No comments: