Importance, the Worth of Souls, and Measuring

I've been thinking about Stephen and D'Arcy's comments lately, and the feelings they've shared about the importance of their personally-created online spaces.

I can’t let myself play egocentric mind games with numbers. I can’t delude myself into believing this space is Important, or cringe popular because those things aren’t real, and don’t matter.
From my point of view, the online spaces we create are extremely important, regardless of any numbers that might work toward quantifying that importance. As a vehicle that enables my presence within the conversations that take place online, my blog, Twitter account, and other online creations not only serve as a locker for my thoughts, but function as a digitally-preserved representation of my inner self.  Parker J. Palmer insightfully observed that "'We teach who we are', in times of darkness as well as light" (2007, p. xi). Similarly, the teaching we do while sharing online ultimately broadcasts who we are as people: infinitely important individuals who some eventually come to know because of those spaces we've crafted online.

In the end, nevertheless, the quantification of our importance really is meaningless, much less insulting when attempted via Google Analytics. Are we, as humans, really so insecure in our relative performance to one another that we must incessantly measure and compare? To what end? While "progress," perhaps, is gained through adjustments informed by research, the liberating reality of life is that success in teaching and learning comes not in passing the test, but rather in grooming the soul.  Through such grooming come college preparedness, readiness for life, and learning that sticks.

I'm grateful to see that others in this world continue to "attach no more importance to measurable things than we attach to things equally or more important that elude our instruments" (Palmer, 2007, p. xiii). Now, if only more that share this line of thinking would continue to step forward and formally lead our schools.



Palmer, P. J. (2007). The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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