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141: Two Minute Timeout For Teachers: Show Your Character in a Whisper

Welcome to Episode 141 of the Teachonomy Talks podcast. In today’s Two Minute Timeout for Teachers I want to focus on character. I came across a quote the other day that I have seen many times, in different variations, that said: “Our character is defined by what we do when we think no one is looking.”

Take a moment today to step back from the business of your day to day and whisper to someone who deserves to know they shine.

Let’s talk about it…


 

Sometimes a silent gesture of appreciation between two people can leave a greater impact than a public acknowledgement ever could.

Episode 141: Two Minute Timeout for Teachers: Show Your Character in a Whisper

In Today’s Two Minute Timeout for Teachers I want to focus on character. I came across a quote the other day that I have seen many times, in different variations, that said “Our character is defined by what we do when we think no one is looking.”

Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the many other outlets that we use to constantly put our lives on display, it can be difficult to determine someone’s true character versus what they want us to believe about themselves. Most of the time we just have to trust them.

This past weekend, however, I saw this quote put into action by someone who’s life is in the public eye. Someone who people often judge based on stories told by tabloids or the paparazzi. She is an actress, singer, and songwriter... and her name is Katherine Mcphee.

If you don’t know who Katherine Mcphee is, she has been a finalist on American Idol, has starred in TV shows like Smash and Scorpion, and has performed brilliantly on Broadway.

My wife and I are big fans of her work, and we recently had the chance to see her star in the broadway musical Waitress. Honesty, the main reason we bought tickets to the show was to have the chance to see her perform live. Although I was impressed by her talent throughout the show, what moved me the most actually took place when the cast was taking a bow on the stage at the end.

See, when we first sat in our seats we noticed a small slip of paper inside our playbill letting us know that a few of the main characters in the show would be played by understudies. Throughout the play, these understudies were phenomenal and received ovations of their own, but in my opinion I think the most impactful ovation for them may have come from a silent whisper from Katherine McPhee.

At the end of the show, with the crowd cheering and the entire cast on stage, Katherine McPhee put her arm around each of the understudies, and while the standing ovation was going on, she whispered something to them. I was close enough to see her mouth the words “You did an amazing job.”

Instead of basking in the applause that many in the crowd meant for her to receive, the star of the show took a moment instead to uplift and acknowledge those around her. She offered honest accolades to a few people who may not have been used to hearing them.

This spoke volumes to me about her character.

As teachers and leaders, we can learn a lot from this simple gesture. There are so many people that we lead or work side by side with that deserve to know they are doing an amazing job. Today, I want to challenge you to be brave enough to whisper to them and let them know. Sometimes a silent gesture of appreciation between two people can leave a greater impact than a public acknowledgement ever could. Take a moment today to step back from the business of your day to day and whisper to someone who deserves to know they shine.

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