Taking Pride in Shoveling

DAY 14  #SOL17  Year 1


Just got in from shoveling after about two hours and we don’t even have a long sidewalk or large driveway.  This snow required many breaks due to the layer of sleet and the snow underneath that was beginning to melt.  Maybe 8 inches or more, but it was heavy or maybe I am just aging and reaching the point where shoveling snow is too much for me.

Shoveling was always an enjoyable act for me.  It was a science or art form, there was a certain way to do so.   My old neighbor, Joe, who took very good care of his property and was a MacGyver of sorts, showed me how to shovel as well as my mother.  They were both raised during the depression when pride was taken in whatever task you were doing.  No matter if it was hanging laundry or mowing the lawn there was always a certain way of doing things.

This makes me wonder if that pride still exists.  Today, it seems there is a desire to just get things over with.  I hear teachers encouraging students to do their best, but is the message heeded as much as it once was?  Many students will complete a task with very little pride or effort but is that due to the task itself or the environment in which they are being raised?

Engagement is critical, but so is effort.  Do you always need to be engaged or entertained in order to have effort?  Is it a bad thing to take your time on menial tasks?  I have many questions to ponder.

Phil Bildner’s book, Marvelous Cornelius, lives in my classroom.  It is one of the picture books in our March Reading Madness competition.  They are many qualities about this book that I love, but my favorite part is the introductory quote which states:


“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a

Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He

should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say,

‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.


Where and how did that pride disappear?  Today, it seems that people just want to get the work done or something is too beneath them to do.  Why?


7 Comments Add yours

  1. cvarsalona says:

    I like how you wove this post from snow shoveling to pride to a quick peek at Phil’s book-one of my favorites.


    1. Ms. Pesta says:

      I love his book as well! There is so much in that book for a class to discuss and learn from. Thank you for reading my post!


  2. rosecappelli says:

    Great post! I often think that many teachers and also non-teachers go through their day with that “let’s just get it done” mentality. Pride in a job well done is sometimes missing. Thanks for the book recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some of my students believe they can not be proud unless they are perfect, so that is a struggle too. Taking pride in a job well done is important!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Pesta says:

      I agree. The perfection plays a role and it does scare them a bit. I wonder how this has come up.


  4. mrssurridge says:

    I love that quote. Even through our exhaustion, we need to fight to always do our job well. Easier said than done sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much to think about here. The questions you have raised are well worth lots of consideration. I believe that pride in a job well done is a valuable thing, no matter the job. And I believe you are right in noticing that we don’t see that often anymore. Now… how do we correct that? Thanks for a great slice!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s