Week 34 Monday Motivation

Piute County School District,

I hope everybody had a great Spring Break. I hope you had an opportunity to recharge and spend time with family.

I read a parable once about a lumberjack competition and have since found a dozen versions of the story online. Of the many versions I liked this one the best from qatc.org. 

“It was the final of the Annual Lumberjack Competition, and after days of chopping, sawing, and tree climbing, only two competitors remained. One was an older experienced lumberjack and the other was a strong fellow about twenty years his junior. The rules of the competition were quite simple. The two lumberjacks would be sent into the woods and the one who could cut the most trees in eight hours would be the winner.

The younger lumberjack was full of enthusiasm and went off into the woods and started cutting trees immediately. He worked all through the day, barely taking time to catch his breath or to grab some food and water. He felt more and more confident with every tree he felled, because he knew that he had superior youth and stamina than the older lumberjack. He also felt sure of his win since he could hear the older fellow working in another part of the woods, and at regular intervals throughout the day, the noise of falling trees coming from the other man would stop. The younger lumberjack naturally assumed the older guy was taking more frequent breaks because of his age and lesser strength. He was confident his youth and stamina would win him the competition.

When the final whistle blew, the younger lumberjack felt confident he had won as he looked out over the piles of trees he had cut. He made his way over to the podium for the medal ceremony and climbed to the platform confident of his victory. The older fellow was there, actually looking much less tired than he did. When it was time to announce the winner, the younger lumberjack was waiting to hear his name, but was devastated when the older man was declared the winner.

The younger man turned to the winner and asked, “How can this be? I heard you taking breaks every hour while I worked continuously. I am younger, fitter, and stronger than you. How could you possibly have beat me?”

The older man smiled and said, “Son, I was not stopping to rest. I was stopping to sharpen my saw.”

The Willis family had a small firewood business for many years and I had a lot of opportunities to witness the value of a sharpened saw. It was amazing how a chainsaw with a dull chain would move so slowly through the wood and could cause more smoke than sawdust. Pausing for 15 minutes to sharpen the chain would have a dramatic difference and help the saw move easily through the wood.

Educators also have to sharpen their skills every day. Our teachers are great at finding innovative ways to make the educational impact of a lesson greater with simple preparations. Good preparation, professional development, and a cycle of continuous improvements makes sharp teaching practices. Things like spring break are also important in keeping skills sharp.  Your preparation efforts and reflective improvements are helping our students. 


Thank you and have great week 34,



Week 34 Sharpened Axe

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Piute County School District
500 North Main - P.O. Box 69
Junction, Utah 84740-0069
Phone: (435)-577-2912 - Fax: (435)-577-2561
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