- Share positives about others behind their back.
- When it circles back to them, it can lift them up.
We are so close to summer, fellow teacher friends!
Let’s sneak in one more small shift to consider as we close out this school year. It’s one of my favorite pastimes: talking behind people’s backs.
Yep. I’m 100% committed to talking behind people’s backs. I love it and look for opportunities any chance I get because of the joy it gives me.
Are you are squinting your eyes with confusion?! I thought so.
Let me clarify: Talking behind people’s backs is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s not what most of you are thinking; I am not talking negatively about people behind their backs. Rather, as I interact with many people as I move through the day, my goal is to overtly share complimentary, loving, kind words about those I appreciate, admire, and respect. And as I say those words, I hope that it somehow circles back to them.Speak true words of love and kindness about the people we appreciate and share them with others behind their backs. Consider how that makes you feel when you put positive energy into the world to lift someone else up. Click To Tweet
Sharing the Positives
I learned this from my favorite teacher, who most of you know is my Mom. I didn’t know it then, but when my brother and I were little, she was really crafty in the way she “talked behind our backs” to let us know how much we were loved. When she was talking on the phone with a relative (on a corded telephone so we could hear her!) she’d say things like, “Oh, that Brian…he makes us so proud. And Suzanne? She’s doing great. She has the nicest friends and she’s working so hard.” Additionally, if we were at a gathering, another adult would come up to us and say something like, “Your Mom is happy school is almost done and you are both going to home for the summer. She said you are so nice to be around.”
As a child, this always made me feel so good. And now as an adult, if somebody says something kind about me and I hear about it, it feels genuine, makes me feel happy, and strengthens my connections with others. It’s an honor to know I have the opportunity to make others feel the same way.[scroll down to keep reading]
Did you really say that?
Just the other day I was walking out of a school after an afternoon faculty meeting. A first-year colleague stopped me in the hallway. With her tired eyes and overflowing teacher bag slung around her shoulder, she said, “Hey, I was just talking to [insert coworker’s name] and she told me you said I was a really creative teacher, and my students are lucky to have me. Did you really say that?”
“Of course I did,” I replied with a smile.
We hugged and she whispered, “Thank you. You seriously have no idea. This year has been so much work.”
Our invitation is to speak true words of love and kindness about the people we appreciate and share them with others behind their backs. As you try this small shift in action, consider how that makes you feel when you put positive energy into the world to lift someone else up. I cannot wait for someone to come up to you soon and say, “Did you really say that about me? Thank you!”
So let’s talk behind some backs and let’s get ahead of some goodness.
Small Shifts, BIG Gifts!
In these final weeks of school, try to make it a priority to talk about someone in a positive way behind their back. Examine how this makes you feel and celebrate when it circles back to you that this person heard your kind words!
About Suzanne Dailey
Suzanne Dailey is a proud member of the Teach Better Family! She is an instructional coach in the Central Bucks School District where she has the honor and joy of working with elementary teachers and students in 15 buildings. Suzanne is Nationally Board Certified, a Fellow of the National Writing Project, and has a master’s degree in Reading. She is dedicated to nurturing and developing the whole child and teacher. Suzanne lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.