It’s pretty easy to celebrate your own accomplishments. I mean, you know your journey. You know what you have been through to carry out the goal. However, it can be harder to celebrate the success of others. It got me thinking.
- Do we not celebrate the success of others because of the competitive world we live in? Maybe we don’t celebrate because we are fearful that someone else’s success diminishes our own. Maybe it makes us feel a little safer with our own status.
- Do we not notice? Let’s face it, it’s a fast pace world we live in. Maybe we get so busy, we just don’t see anything going on with anyone else because we have hyper-focused on our own circumstances.
- Do we doubt the impact our “congratulations” mean to someone else? Maybe we think that the other person will question our sincerity or even value our acknowledgement of what they have accomplished.
Recently I had a colleague of a campus that had been through a tremendous challenge to help her campus meet some specified accountability standards. While I had not directly experienced the steps and measures they had gone through to achieve the goal. I knew it was certainly arduous. Her team rallied. They invested. They learned. They reflected and they grew. Most importantly, they never gave up. It was huge accomplishment when they achieved this task they had worked on for years.
As I watched them celebrate, it hit me how important it was that not only they celebrate for themselves, or be acknowledged by superiors, but that they be acknowledged by peers and colleagues. I didn’t know whether my words would really matter to them, but it just seemed important. When we live in a world where education is constantly under fire, we must stand together in good times and in bad. It just seems like it’s easier to acknowledge and feel pity for someone’s struggles. We must not compete against each other, but celebrate each educational organization as a part of the great big “whole” of public educators who make a difference for children. That is why my teacher leaders did a twitter storm of celebration for this campus marrying their hashtag and ours to celebrate their success.
I don’t think it matters if you are a district, a school, or a teacher of a classroom. As Susan Phillips says “Celebrate the success of others. High tide floats all ships.” When you are in a battle, you unite your armies, not battle over who is the frontline or the support. Both are critical to winning longterm. We must recognize that every success of any campus is asuccess for all public educators. It’s a check in the win column to tell the world what a difference a group of educators can make in the lives of children when they have a common vision and purpose. Congratulations, Central Elementary! You have accomplished great things. You have shown grit, growth mindset, and grace under fire! You did it and you make us all look good because of that!