Monday, February 8, 2016

WAR? What is it Good For?

I'm back after a long first basketball season and can finally start to put my focus solely back in the classroom.  I've been busy, and while things are going well in the classroom, I am finding myself once again looking to take that next step.  I believe myself to be a valuable member of our staff, but I am searching how to make a bigger impact and do more.  If I go to a recently created baseball term, I am looking to enhance my WAR.

WAR is a statistic.  In fact it is an all-encompassing statistic.  It stands for "wins above replacement," and essentially measures the value of a player by figuring their worth compared to the player or players that would replace him if he was to leave.  The higher the WAR, the more valuable you are to the team you play for.

I read up on new ideas, I participate in online learning communities, I went back to school.  All of those things added to my WAR, but stopping there is settling.  I need to do more.  I hope someday to do it as an administrator where my reach will stretch a bit further, but as a classroom teacher I need to figure out what is next.  How do I keep getting better?

I'm still not sure, but I'm coming up with ideas.  However the revelation hit me that if I simply improve everything I am doing slightly, my WAR would go up.  Managing my class a little bit better, coming in with a bit more positive of an attitude, or going that extra mile to enhance an assignment or lesson will not revolutionize my craft, but will refine it each time I make a choice.  Especially when I am at a point where it would easy to be complacent, I have to keep tweaking things so that I don't get weighed down with mediocrity.

And that is the essence of education.  Always learning, always getting a tiny bit better.  We celebrate these successes in our data, and we should celebrate them in the way we feel or the contributions we feel we can make to our team.  That energy inspires others to improve, and before you know it, their WAR's improve too!

And this is something we can all do when it comes to our jobs or our lives in general.  We can make small change after small change until things simply improve.  We don't have to always hit a homerun.  Those are nice when they come, but all the singles are what pay the bills.

To further the baseball cliches you can't get too far ahead, you have to keep your eye on the ball, and take them one at a time.  Those were totally unnecessary.

So how can you improve your WAR today?  Do it!

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