Everything Is Earned: Living This Principle in Your Classrooms and Schools

As LeBron James says, “Nothing is Given. Everything is Earned.” Regardless of your feelings on LeBron, it is important for our young people (well, all people) to internalize this life lesson.

Most kids spend at least 13 years in a K-12 school setting. Be it public, private, or charter—13 years of a similar setting can get a bit redundant. 13 years of at least 7 hours a day is also a significant amount of time. Many kids spend just as much time with their peers and teachers as they do with their families at home. As such, it is critical that we intentionally plan for scaffolded privileges and freedom throughout their school “careers.”

“You want a revolution? I want a revelation!”

With the start of 2019 comes New Year’s Resolutions, the annual January hashtags (i.e., #NewYearNewMe), and a searching for what will bring about the change that so many seek. For leaders in education, we often find ourselves asking, “What platform, curriculum, or teaching strategy will revolutionize our school’s data or our day-to-day operations?” However, rather than looking externally for ways to revolutionize our schools, let’s desire, as the Schuyler Sisters (in Lin-Manual Miranda’s Broadway Musical Hamilton) sang, “a revelation.” Reflecting on how we are leading with our values and modeling vulnerability for our staff and students often elicits a revelation of what will be the key levers for success.