This blog post was written by Andrew Marotta who had graciously agreed to share his post here. Want to learn more about Andrew Marotta? Please visit his website, https://andrewmarotta.com/
I recently traveled to a conference and after the flight home, I stopped in the bathroom to wash my hands. The bathroom was very clean, which I was very pleased about, and there was a gentleman cleaning the bathroom while I was in there. As I was drying my hands, I saw this little sign hanging on the wall in the bathroom. I had noticed the gentleman cleaner was over near the sign a couple of times but I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was doing. I then saw him out of the corner of my eye pressing the green ‘very satisfied’ button.
The guy cleaning the bathroom wanted to get good feedback. Did he get a bonus if there were positive reviews? I was impressed with the cleanliness of the bathroom but disappointed to see that he was pressing the green button. I did tell him how clean I thought the bathroom was, pressed the green button, and thanked him for doing a good job.
As I walked to my car I reflected on what I had just experienced. The feedback was in the bathroom itself. It was clean, smelled nice, the soap dispensers were all refilled, there were no stains or water spills on the counter, etc. The gentleman obviously had pride in his work, so why did he feel the need to press that button?
Do we also feel that as educators? Where is our feedback? I believe the feedback is in the people: The people we serve. How are our staff, students, parents, and community members doing? How are they receiving the work that we are doing? I believe it is in the experiences that we help create at school. I believe our feedback is in the successes and failures of our school communities and our organizations. Our feedback is in the energy we give to others and the deposits we make in the lives of others throughout the day. Our feedback is everywhere, as well as the impact of our work.
Do you feel the need to click the green button in your own life or are you already doing a good job?
These are hard times and many people are overwhelmed. Many are struggling, so I urge you to continue to do the best you can. Continue to keep that bathroom as clean as you can in your professional and personal lives. Remember the feedback is in the job, the results, and the impact we’re having on others, not in the green button. Lastly, when you can, make sure you are letting others know they are doing a good job and give positive feedback to those we serve.
Keep rolling everyone! If I could help you in any way don’t hesitate to reach out at @andrewmarotta21 on Twitter.
P.S. Please read my thoughts on Andrew's post in a blog I titled, "Feed-Forward."