Monday, November 30, 2015


If you are reading this, you survived Black Friday.  This is the first year in a long time that I have worked retail the day after Thanksgiving.  I'm taking a year off from teaching to get some perspective on things.  

One of the reasons I became dissatisfied with teaching was the emphasis on test scores.  Teaching had to be data-driven.  We test what we teach and as a result we teach what we test.

What I'm finding out is that happens in the business world as well.  I expected to have sales goals, but I didn't expect to have goals on signing people up for credit, issuing care plans, and remembering to ask people to take our survey at the end of each interaction.  I'm not criticizing the company I work for, because I have learned that every business has these types of goals.  Business is data-driven.  Some much more than others.

I notice that I have a better attitude in both business and educational environments when I focus on the people. "Who did I help today?"  The interactions I have in my store may not bring an immediate sale and all the other measurables.  I'm looking long term.  I want people to want to come back another day when they are ready to make a purchase.

How many times as a teacher have I had a student who struggled with me come back and tell me about their successes?  It may not have shown up on my test scores, but it happened later in the important parts of their lives.  And they came back to tell me because they knew I would want to know.

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