A few months ago my friend Scott wrote about compliments. In his post, he referenced the saying “Gratitude is the best attitude.” As Scott notes in his post, this world is full of a lot of complaints. Those of us in the teaching and service professions often absorb quite a bit of blame and frustration – not only from individuals but from media and the public at large. Sometimes fielding those frustrations can get you down. I’ve learned so much and developed strategies for understanding and dealing with these scenarios (both personally and professionally) over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on these strategies, it’s a constant self-reflective learning process.
Yesterday, I returned to my office on campus after being away with our overseas program for several weeks. In my mailbox was a hand addressed letter. This is not extraordinarily uncommon as sometimes transcripts or bills/invoices come in a handwritten envelope. When I opened the letter, my eyes welled with tears – tears of humility and appreciation. The letter was from an Irish teacher who had attended the #GREAT12 conference which was put on by our Year 2 MAET students in Dublin. Here is a small snippet from the letter:
I immediately scanned the letter and passed it on to the overseas students in our Facebook group – and the expressions of appreciation and joy continued there, brightening the days of our students from every corner of the globe who worked so hard to put on a large-scale educational technology conference for their peers and the educational public at large in Ireland within a short 2 week time frame. This was a task that at times, felt insurmountable/impossible and was (as you can imagine) a very stressful endeavor for the conference organizers. Thank YOU @john_heeney for refilling our proverbial buckets of emotion with the gift of appreciation.