Disney World...let's be honest, they know how to make people feel good about their Disney experience. From the moment you enter the park, cast members go out of their way to help you enjoy the parks to the fullest.
I hadn't been to Disney since I was seven until a few years ago. I took a group of 5th graders there on a field trip (I know, brave soul)! I was excited to experience the "new" park and all that it had to offer. I mean, I wasn't able to ride Space Mountain when I was 7, so that was the entire goal. I also took one for my team when I made a deal with my 5th graders that resulted with me riding Tower of Terror. After I returned home and recovered a bit, I realized that our trip to Disney ended up being one of the best field trips I've ever taken, and part of that was because of the Disney crew.
Disney is all about presentation and leaving a lasting impression. The parks are immaculately groomed and there isn't a piece of trash to be found anywhere that it isn't supposed to be. Every interaction with a Disney cast mate left any other customer experience in the dust. To say that I was impressed is an understatement.
Well, leave it to Disney to have a a professional development leg of their empire. I just recently discovered this treasure trove on Facebook and I'm already impressed. Tonight, as I was reading posts, this one showed up in my News Feed. It struck a chord with me and I immediately began thinking about how this could impact the teaching profession.
What would our profession look like if we made a conscious effort to compliment teachers publicly?
We could talk all day about how the education profession is not "professionalized" because of low salaries, long hours, disrespected by our society, and more, but instead of focusing on all of the things that are hindrances to our profession, what if we started celebrating what is right with it?
I'm just a simple teacher blogger, but if Disney can use social media to celebrate specific cast members and how they are going above and beyond in their job, why can't education do the same?
Once school starts, my newsfeed will be sprinkled with complaints about the ridiculous supply requests, homework policies, and more. To be honest, I'm the wrong audience to share that with, as are most of you. I don't want to hear the negativity about my profession, the one I willingly entered into and lovingly remain. Each year there are thousands of teachers, instructional coaches, interventionist, and administrators that lace up our teaching shoes and choose to return to a new year. Yes, our job is hard, and there are many days that even experienced teachers struggle to keep all of the balls in the air, but it is so rewarding.
So, in an effort to do a little bit to bring positivity back to education, I'd love to share a hashtag with you: #TeacherCompliments
Disney uses the hashtag #CastCompliment to celebrate their cast members. Anyone can post using the hashtag. Posts are made on Instagram, Twitter, and even Facebook. When Disney sees that a specific member has been celebrated, they share the tweet personally and take a photo. Stop and think about how powerful that is for the one cast member.
Now, think about how powerful that could be for one teacher. I know that any time I received a positive letter or thank you note from a student or parent, it often brought me to tears. Why? Well, it didn't happen often. Teachers receive loads of communication from parents, administrators, and students, but very little of it is in sincere celebration of something that was done. I want to change that.
So, let's start posting using the #teachercompliment hashtag. Any time you have something positive to share about a teacher, use the hashtag. Share it on Instagram if you have a photo, Twitter, or Facebook. Let's sprinkle this world with uplifting messages about what the teachers in our nation are doing for our students.
I'm starting tomorrow...what about you??