Framing the Countdown


Lori Sabo

March 15, 2024

In the February 16 Tip of the Week, I shared how small shifts—changing expectations and directives to a positive—can make a big difference for our students.

Today it is our turn.

I was visiting Maple Grove Elementary in Waukee, Iowa, a few years ago when I saw a charming countdown poster.

It read, “Cherish. You only have 157 days to make a difference in the lives of others at Maple Grove Elementary . . . where each of our stories matter.”

It was one of those moments in life when something small changed my thinking forever.

Instead of “Only 65 more school days until summer! I can’t wait to _____________,” the attention swings from our possibly fatigued selves back to our calling and purpose.

It is a small shift, but the mirage-like goal of summer freedom blurs, and what comes clearly into focus are the students in front of us right now. Instead of longing for a much-deserved vacation, we’ll be filled with renewed urgency to attend to our students in the brief time we have left with them.

We are out on June 14 this year. Many of you are out sooner than that. Let’s not count down to our well-deserved break, and let’s not panic when we realize how few days we have left. Instead, let’s live with joyful intention to make each day we have count, making a difference in the lives of those we serve and serve alongside. Framing this countdown in such a positive way will help us all finish strong.

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