Here's a blog post I wrote a long time ago. It's one that I kept in draft until I was ready to share, because I like to share happy things not things that bother me. Here's to my first post that I wrote while feeling angry.
Don’t mistake being positive, excited, kind and caring for being a "kiss ass."
I really need a second to vent and process something I heard.
I work with many people. I hear the advice, warnings, and gossip about people around me all the time. I chose to be an ear, I don’t really add to the conversation and I certainly don’t repeat it. I don’t like controversy. I prefer to bring people together. I like it when people accept each other for who they are and help each other out for our students.
One day, I served a school all day with a technology integrated session. I had a wonderful PLC with a few teachers that inspired me. I left feeling like technology was being integrated effectively. I felt that the students in their class were really blessed to have teachers that love teaching.
That same day I squeezed in time to meet with another teacher one on one. During that time it was expressed how happy she was now that she was no longer working with those “kiss asses.” How they came up, I don’t know, but those “kiss asses” happened to be the teachers that inspired me earlier that morning. They are happy, they are excited, they share, they give everything a try without complaining. I don’t know what happened between them, I’m not even going to ask.
I just replied by saying I’m really glad that you are happy this year and quickly moved onto the focus, the reason I was working with her. I did my job and tried to cheer, motivate, and inspire.
I began thinking about things. The same happiness the teachers expressed in the morning is the same kind of happiness I have when I’m excited to share something I have learned. I can hardly contain myself. They are kind and giving people. Oh, I could go on and on about the way these teachers give their time. I tend to want to take care of people too. It’s not because someone is important to everyone else or “popular.” I am kind to people that are important to me. If I go out of my way for you, bring you a Starbucks, meet you for lunch, or stop by to say, hi. I never have hopes of something in return. I don’t keep score or tabs. I do things because I want to and it’s a gesture that shows I care.
My vent is to say that I was offended, even though the comment wasn’t directed at me. I know people have said the same about me. Yes, I’ve been called a “Kiss Ass.” Off the top of my head, I remember hearing this after I meet with someone I care about, someone I consider my mentor. I met with someone who was there to teach and encourage me when I was a newbie. She also happened to be my principal at the time. When I hadn’t seen her at school for an extended time, I worried about her. Yes, the office staff kept us up to date on the details, but I contacted her and met her for lunch while she was recovering. I wanted to be there for her because I care about her as a person. Hearing that someone turned that into a reason to call me a “kiss ass” and assumed that I must have wanted something in return was very hurtful.
I’m really not sure how I could have peacefully stood up for those teachers without breaking the trust I had already built with the other. Really, I think it would be like standing up for myself. I didn’t stand up for myself by confronting the person who said I was a “kiss ass.” I simply ignored it and moved on with my life. I won’t let someone bully me out of being myself.
Get to know people for their heart. It’s a good way to learn what someone's intentions truly are. Judging someone without getting to know the person or the situation really isn’t the way.