My son brought home a syllabus for his freshman PE class. In it the teacher clearly laid out his grading method.
Daily grades were based on a 4-3-2-1-0 scale:
4 Exceeds request and requirements of instructor. Participates without being watched.
3 Participates in class activities. Meets the requirements.
2 Cruises in neutral. Participates only while being watched.
1 Not prepared for class. Shows little or no improvement.
0 No effort to participate during class.
Grades are an excellent idea, unless I’m the one receiving them -and then I cringe at the places where I get a 2.
Or a 1.
Making dinner on a regular basis: Shows little or no improvement.
Cleaning bathrooms: No effort unless the garbage is actually climbing up out of the can or unless company is coming in 10 minutes.
Paul challenges those who slave (to those on earth and to Jesus), to live a “4” kind of day.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. (Colossians 3:22 NIV)
It’s a daily grade.
I wrote the beginning of this blog post four years ago, before I was a teacher. Now I have my own classroom, and I know what it feels like to have students who do level 4 work regardless of how their day is going. Regardless of what I’ve asked them to do or how hard it is. No matter how everyone else has received the assignment.
One of my students turned in a project a few days ago, and it was so beautifully made -far beyond what I had expected. I didn’t know what to say.
It was like she had given me a lovely gift.
And I felt like I should go find a treasure box to put it in. In fact, I do believe I might purchase just such a box for my classroom. A chest where I can put the more-than-I-asked-for work.
Can you imagine God as a teacher and how he must feel when we sincerely do our best work for him?
Day after day.
I’m headed to the kitchen right this very second, to put in a worthy effort there. And you, my friend? Where could you reverently do more “4” work in this day?