There once was a city. The people loved their city and more were adding to it daily. There was an infinite amount of space in the city so there was no fear of not having enough room. Always room for more.
Most of the people in the city were kind, good people. Some of them worked hard and built houses that were along major thoroughfares. Lots of people dropped by to comment on how beautiful these houses were. None of the houses were perfect, as houses go. All were works in progress because in this city, the houses were built by hand by those who lived in them.
A group of people decided to recognize some of the most beautiful houses so that others would look at those houses and could perhaps copy some of the design principles or learn something and had a contest. Those houses located along major thoroughfares obviously garnered many of the votes just because they were established homes and many people had dropped by to see them. But a few of those homes along emerging thoroughfares and some along the outskirts were acknowledged.
Many very beautiful homes were not on the list. Some of their owners were away when the awards were announced but that did not make their homes less beautiful.
Some of the homeowners were starting to help others with homes, offering advice, or even writing books about home building. For these homeowners, the awards were extra important as they would help them further their dreams and aspirations. So, they asked their friends and families to help them. Others resented the fact that they asked for such a thing and just thought that awards were a bad idea.
The awards were announced with much celebration. Some went home and cried because they didn't receive the awards. Others were angry because their favorite homes weren't picked. Others went to the homes that were picked and started throwing rocks and pointing out the faults in their construction. Unfortunately, it made the awards a bit bittersweet.
Ultimately, however, as time passed there were some structural innovations that were profound in throughhout the city by looking at the “best” houses (even knowing the flaws of the awards program) people were able to make their own houses better. In the end, the city settled down and realized that due to growth, eventually awards of all kinds would happen. It was just the nature of having a large, thriving metropolis.
They settled down and realized that some of the winning houses truly were great and that a few houses who perhaps deserved to be in the list weren't. But that the city needed people to work together and go forward and that you don't move ahead by tearing down the houses.
Critique the awards and improve them. But the houses built by the hands of those who have worked hard and remained faithful don't need stones and bricks thrown at them to move them forward, they need positive critique and examples of best practice to move forward. Encouragement is always welcome. Sometimes your worst enemies are those who should be your neighbors.
A house divided cannot stand… neither can a city…. neither can a school…neither can a profession.
Be kind. Move forward. Spend your time on things that matter. Keep perspective.
Tips for minimizing teacher stress
- Discover 10 stress-busting secrets for healthy teachers. What simple routines will help you handle the stress?
- Simple advice for coping with stress at work.
- Learn tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues and students (even those who "hate" you -- yes it is possible!)