Rarely do we think of going back to school as directly benefiting strangers; unless you’re going into teaching. It’s a way to better your life, your family, and your future. Since we’re not yet out of the charitable season it’s important to think about how your education can benefit those around you. Think about your fellow students who may be struggling to get through their program. Or what about your peer in class that can’t seem to manage their time efficiently and feels like giving up? While you have no obligation to reach out and help these individuals, there should be nothing stopping you from extending a hand through a compliment or an inspiring story.
The ultimate gratification for a job well done in your class is an A, or a big compliment from your instructor. Think about the reverse of this too. We have all had fantastic professors that turn our world upside down, and spin us into a new world of possibilities. Besides just sitting there amazed, share your experience and thanks for the enlightened experience they bestowed on you.
Instructors have a rewarding, and challenging job. Their ultimate goal is to inform and influence their students for the better. For online instructors they are required to respond in a timely manner to student papers and forum posts; if you think you have it bad, think about what your professor has to do! They give praise when it’s due, and are rewarded by seeing students succeed in their studies. Sometimes it’s nice to give your instructor something special, in the form of a compliment or kudos.
The “pay it forward” movement is still going strong, and this year is no exception. Layaway Angels paid it forward by paying off layaway debt for some local families in Washington. And we all heard about the Starbucks pay it forward movement. A couple of years ago there was also a compliment movement in Canada that was started with the help of some university students. Their goal was to encourage students by giving both superficial, and note-worthy praise. The Facebook pages are an ego boost for sure, and a great thought for anyone looking to build professional relationships with other students and instructors. You won’t need to start up your own page to share compliments, you can instead start this compliment movement on the Facebook page for your school. At APU, when students share a recent experience that involves a good deed from one of our staff members, or a memorable moment from an instructor, we repost and share with the recipient of the compliment. It is the season of goodwill, and sometimes the best gift you can give someone is a thank you for making the extra effort and sharing an interest in their work.
Start your own movement by driving others to succeed in their studies through your words. One compliment can make all the difference to someone you don’t yet know.
By J. Mason
Online Learning Tips Editor