Getting the Job Done
Thanks to a rather generous grant, our school started out the year with brand-new lockers. In the morning, we escort students to their bright red lockers so that they can deposit their jackets and backpacks and get out their books, pencils and other supplies for the day. In the afternoon, we escort students back to their lockers to reclaim their backpacks and jackets. (The no-backpacks-in-class policy keeps contraband out of the classrooms.)
This afternoon, two seventh-grade girls were struggling with their lockers long after the hallway had emptied of other students. I offered to help. (Sometimes the kids get in a hurry and don’t enter their combinations just right, so the locker won’t open.)
Usually I manage to open a seemingly recalcitrant locker on the first try, but after three attempts on R-Girl’s locker, I was baffled.
“Wait!” she exclaimed. “What’s the number?”
She peered at the locker number and discovered that she had been trying to open the wrong locker. When she entered the combination on the correct locker, the door swung open immediately.
Meanwhile, A-Girl was still unable to open her locker. When she double checked the locker number, she discovered that she, too, had been trying to open someone else’s locker.
Both R-Girl and A-Girl made an important discovery this afternoon: If you use the right tools (in this case, your brain and fingers) in the right place (your locker, not someone else’s), and in the right way (enter the numbers correctly), you get the job done.
Or, to put it negatively: If you have a job to do and use the wrong tool, you’ll never get the results you hope for.
Thanks, girls, for teaching this teacher an important lesson about getting things done quickly and effectively.