Why does spring hope eternally for baseball but not schools?

Spring Training

Please excuse my cultural bias on the baseball analogy. We in the Alps are slogging through the last vestiges of winter and I cannot help but be inspired by the excited athletes as they play catch beneath the palm trees of Florida, smiling with the anticipation of a new year full of hope and promise.

Yes, many of us show up to work in beautiful places full of similar hope and promise. So do I. What I’m talking about is that magical focus that teams have that they are working towards (jump to link at end if you want). They get together. They analyze strengths and weaknesses. They focus on one goal. They put one another in a position to succeed. (The catcher doesn’t pitch, for example). They work together, not independently. They perform. They celebrate. They know what one another is doing. They watch film of their work. Primary teachers do this better than anyone I’ve seen.

I’ve seen a million posts about collaboration, teamwork, coaching models. This isn’t new. What interests me, though, is that drive, that goal, that competitive focus that is missing. The test as a goal just isn’t cutting it. University acceptance? Maybe, but that’s so distant and intangible. MUN? Global Issues Network? Getting closer…It’s more than that. It’s a cultural thing. Teams look at one another’s performance and make comments because what you do affects me. That’s it. What you do affects me. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Where’s that spirit? Where is that, “Here’s the goal, here’s our strengths as a team, here’s what we need to do this month and then after that we’ll work on this. Oh, and let’s talk about it. A lot.

Visualize your purpose. Demand focus. And maybe someday your school year or your class ends like this.