Friday Thoughts: Raking Leaves
My yard is absolutely covered with leaves thanks to three massive oak trees. While it’s a time-consuming chore, I’m somewhat looking forward to raking my leaves because I like seeing progress and I like when I’m finished. As I’m working, I like to stop occasionally and just look at the amount of leaves I’ve been able to move. I like to take breaks and jump in the leaves with my kids (even though it makes my pile spread out a little and I have to re-rake portions). The best part though, is standing on my deck and looking at my entire leaf-free yard when I’m finished. I love the feeling of accomplishment!
I often long for that same feeling of accomplishment at school, but measurable progress at school isn’t as obvious as seeing a giant pile of raked leaves and knowing a task is complete. At school, attendance, disciplinary notices, grades, and standardized test scores do provide us with some immediate (and important) measurable progress, but thankfully school is about so much more!
- a passion to learn
- the ability to lead well
- individual thought
- a willingness to take risks
- intrinsic motivation
- a unique talent
- a desire to serve others
For the most part, none of the above are measurable, yet we want students to excel in all areas. And because we deal with several immeasurables, it’s easy to begin questioning if what we do really matters. In the grand scheme of things, we all know our work matters, but in the middle of the daily grind, it’s easy to forget.
When I get discouraged or begin to question if what I do is really making a difference, what gets me back on track are these words from Mother Teresa: “God doesn’t call me to be successful. He calls me to be faithful.”
We are blessed to work in education, and while we might not see measurable progress like we would by raking leaves, I assure you that we’re making a difference and influencing lives every day— and that’s progress, measurable or not.