One last post as I continue to think about distractions that keep us from the real work during this time away from school. As I have pondered about these ideas over the month, I am reminded of a story:
Once there were three bricklayers. Each one of them was asked what they were doing.
The first man answered gruffly, ‘I’m laying bricks.’
The second man replied, ‘I’m putting up a wall.’
But the third man said enthusiastically and with pride, ‘I’m building a cathedral.’
There is also a real-life version (if it actually happened):
President John F. Kennedy was visiting NASA headquarters for the first time, in 1961. While touring the facility, he introduced himself to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at NASA. The janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”
Our jobs may seem mundane on the surface as we sit at home and spend countless hours revamping lessons to fit our new needs while also trying to do our best to connect with students. This type of work could drive most people to despair. We spend countless hours, knowing some students may not even login to complete the task that we have revamped from an incredible in class lesson to a decent virtual one. But, if we place our work in the proper context and understand how this work still contributes to our mission, the job is still rewarding.
The same could be asked of administrators and teachers. If you were asked what you are doing right now, how would you answer? At any point during your current working conditions with colleagues and students, what would you say? Ultimately, what are you trying to accomplish? Why did you choose to be an educator, and are you still living that out daily?
I also read the following message in Brian Kight’s Daily Discipline: A theme throughout history, both recent and ancient, is ignoring the signs of change and waiting until it’s too late. Kings and queens have done it. Coaches and executives too. Husbands and wives. Young and old. Intellectual and emotional.
You cannot take action in the future. You cannot take action in the past. You can only take action right now. Be in each moment to take action; you can never stop working in the moment, especially when things are so topsy-turvy. The action needed right now may seem very difficult, and honestly, it is. But, we have to understand that it is merely an inconvenience of our current time. It is not permanent. If we stray from our mission now and get bogged down with all the distractions, it will be much harder to recover when things get back to normal. Not adapting to our current circumstances is only easier for now, but “now” never lasts long.
You cannot take action in the future; you cannot take action in the past; you can only take action right now. Be a Cardinal; change lives; put a mission into motion.