We all could use a little pick me up from time to time. Think to yourself for a moment. When was the last time you truly gave a colleague a heartfelt compliment? Some may ask, "How do I find someone who needs a compliment?" For many, this thought process may go on for some time, because many of us (myself included) get so lost in our day's responsibilities in school, that we forget about each other. I would more than appreciate someone to give me a compliment on any given day. Why do we as teachers avoid giving praise where praise is due? Your guess is as good as mine, but I would guess being embarrassed or shy might have something to do with it. However, if just once a day to one person in your school (student, teacher, administrator, custodian, etc.) you were to give a heartfelt compliment; imagine the effect it would have on them for that day. I don't know of anyone who dislikes being given a compliment. Now, imagine if that one person were to do the same thing (since you have already lifted their spirits) on that same day. Call it random acts of kindness, or whatever you'd like . . . this process could shift the entire school environment in a wonderful way.
This is an easy and beautiful way to improve someone's demeanor, during the school day. Giving someone a true compliment without expecting anything in return, is known as a "random act of kindness". Call it what you'd like, but it costs you absolutely nothing and can make a world of difference in another's day. I remember a day (while not actually in school) at a local UPS store. There was a lady literally throwing a fit over the price of mailing a package. "I'll never come here again!" was her mantra. The owner simply stood there, while she huffed and puffed. Finally, when her steam was exhausted, the owner said "Ma'am, I'm just trying to make a living." Well, to this she simply turned and lumbered out of the store. After this scenario, I told the owner I was amazed at his restraint and composure. Then, I let him know I was glad to conduct my business in his store. It cost me nothing to say this to him, and I'm sure it made the annoyance he had just experienced more tolerable.