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Fruits of Your Labor

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple. Test scores are much like the seeds of an apple. As educators, you see the Apples in the Seeds. You see in others what they can grow into. Many people in our society struggle to see the possibilities and the potential that you see. However, a seed not properly planted and nourished bears no fruit.

Our society has become one that expects instant gratification. With on demand movies and music, fast food, instant messages, overnight deliveries, etc, few of us are forced to wait for things we want.

Unfortunately for those wanting instant gratification, excellence isn’t instant. The fruits of your labor don’t happen without the labor. 

As we wrap up another school year, I don’t want us to have a short term “instant gratification” mindset. Very few professions outside of education work so hard to likely not see the fruits of their labor. They marvel at us. Let’s not think of our wonderful students’ test results as the fruit of our labor. Our students are the seeds. Our students’ children and their grandchildren will be blessed if we dig deep and embrace the work that we do with the students we serve each day.

I found interesting the fact that an apple seed may yield completely different varieties of apples if planted.

“There is one very important aspect to know when propagating apple trees from seeds. The apple trees you purchase in a nursery are produced by grafting because apple seeds are very unreliable. The seeds found in the apple are the result of cross pollination between two different species or varieties of apples. This makes each seedling a genetically unique individual with unpredictable traits; for example, seedlings sprouted from your ‘Macintosh’ apple might produce tiny red crab apples. You will have years invested in these seedlings before finding out if they will produce an edible or flavorful apple.”  http://pallensmith.com/2015/12/16/can-i-grow-an-apple-tree-from-a-seed/

Just like with our students, their past doesn’t dictate who/what they will become. Every student we work with is a unique individual which could yield new and amazing fruits themselves if properly cultivated.

You may never fully know how your words, your actions and your kindness may impact someone. Your work is so valuable. As this year concludes, take great satisfaction in knowing that you’ve planted seeds that may one day change our world, lead our community, and yield fruits beyond your imagination.

apple

About David Stegall

Dr. David Stegall is the Superintendent for Newton-Conover City Schools. He previously served Newton-Conover as the Associate Superintendent, and previous to that as the Director of Elementary Curriculum, ESL (English as a second language) and AIG (academically and intellectually gifted). In February, 2012 he was named the Outstanding Young Educator for North Carolina by NCASCD and was a National Finalist for the ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award. In 2016 Dr. Stegall was named a National Superintendent to Watch by NSPRA. Dr. Stegall joined the Newton-Conover City School system from Iredell-Statesville Schools in July 2007. He has presented at the state, national and international levels on professional learning communities and teacher empowerment. Dr. Stegall received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; a master's degree in education from Gardner-Webb University; an education specialist degree in education administration from Appalachian State University; and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from ASU.

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