I Am So Tired Of ‘Nice’

By Adam Welcome
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I’ve heard it for years and years and years and years.

People use it like it’s some magical quality that other people have and it makes them untouchable. Like they get a free pass from having to actually be relevant and push their organization forward. In my experience and opinion it’s purely used as an excuse to protect people, to shield them from the work they should be engaging in, from the people who they are actually here to serve – THE KIDS!

I am so tired of nice.

If you work in education, you work with kids, which means you work for kids – and you should be nice. Nice is a prerequisite for the job. Whatever your role is in education you have a predetermined responsibility to act in such a way that’s respectful, approachable, collegial and of course nice.

Just the other day I was talking with a former colleague about someone that we both use to work with. That person has retired within the past couple of years and I was inquiring about the new person. My former colleague said the new person is smart, innovative, super approachable and great to work with.

I made a comment about the other person who had retired, and that it was good to hear that someone was now in the job that was actually moving the organization forward with new ideas that were relevant.

And then it happened.

“Well…..they were really nice though.”

They just described the new person as being smart and relevant, and then came the excuse for the old person. Why we do make excuses?

Why do we allow people to get away with not knowing, not moving, not pushing, not thinking, not doing what’s best for the students that we serve. Why is it that being ‘nice’ can completely supercede actually being competent in your job?

They don’t integrate technology into their classroom at all. But they’re nice.

They don’t bring any new ideas to the team or organization. But they’re nice.

They clearly aren’t qualified for the job. But they’re nice.

They lead in fear and are always on the defensive. But they’re nice.

They don’t collaborate with others, attend conferences or have they developed a worldwide PLN on social media. But they’re nice.

There is a profound amount of evidence that they or their department should be doing something else that is better for kids and teachers. But they’re nice.

I am so tired of nice.

We have to hold people accountable for their lack of action with their jobs. These same people hold their students accountable for their behavior or lack of educational output in the classroom, yet they’re not relevant themselves.

Please put kids first. Put your organization first. Recruit and hire the best people for your organization, and don’t make the ‘nice’ excuse for those who aren’t doing what’s best for kids.

Adam Welcome

Adam Welcome

Adam has been an elementary school teacher, Principal, Director of Innovation for a large school district in the Bay Area and is also an author and speaker.

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