As I am reflecting on all the teachers I appreciate for Teacher Appreciation Week, I feel blessed.  In our work here at Knovation, we get a chance to experience the great joy that comes from working with creative teachers that are transforming learning in their classrooms.  This led me to think, what can I do to show appreciation for teachers in my life and as I am working with them?  It seems to me that as educators, we have a good sense of what transformation looks like and good guidance on coaching through the professional work we’ve done, are we doing a good job of highlighting or lifting up those things that educators are doing well all around us?  Are we effectively spotting their joy?  

One of the most helpful things you can do to show appreciation is to spot their joy. 

There have been times when someone has pointed out how passionate I am about a certain topic or approach.  Their observation will always lead me to examine my current focus and priorities, making sure that I make more time for what is working so well for me. To have someone acknowledge my joy and reflect it back to me is an intense reminder that I am doing the work that is most meaningful to me.  It makes me feel more joyful that I am able to share that joy in ways that are meaningful to other educators.

In a time of the accountability form of observation, I believe the most powerful form of observation is joy spotting - catching and commenting on someone experiencing their joy.

Don't we all get enough advice and criticism (even the constructive type)?  Don't we as parents sometimes just acknowledge what is working and bear witness to it?  Can we provide that witness to our fellow educators doing what is working, what is right for our learners?  So, let's all try to “spot” a teacher this week and recognize them… 

Spot someone and say:

You light up when you talk about that...
You seem so happy when...
Your whole body language changes when you talk about...
The first thing you wanted to talk about was...
You get so excited when...
You're on fire when...
You're unstoppable when…

You are changing hearts and minds when…

Thank you fellow educators - keep up the amazing work you are doing for kids.  I can tell you right now your impact cannot be measured by my mere words of gratitude.  Maybe, just maybe, someone will spot you in your joy and give you a chance to see what many of your learners, parents and colleagues already see.

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Comment by Melissa Edwards on May 8, 2014 at 2:15pm

What a great idea and way to spread positive thinking in an authentic way!

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