Recently I saw a video about the Clemson Tigers Football team. They have created a culture in their program and it is brought to life by the phrase, “Best is the Standard”. They have this phrase written in every meeting room and indoor practice facility. Every player, coach, trainer, and assistant live each day following this motto “Best is the Standard”.
I don’t think the Clemson coaching staff means that every player must try and outdo each other. I don’t think they mean that each player must try to beat everyone else. I don’t even think they mean they want their program to be the best, although I’m sure they do want to win!
What I think they mean by “Best is the Standard”, is that everyone shows up and gives their personal best always, both on the field and off.
I really like the message that it sends. It reminds everyone that rather than settle for just getting by, it reminds these student-athletes (and coaches) that they should give their absolute best all the time. It is simply the culture that they have created in their program. Show up and give it your all.
I think we can to create a very similar culture in our schools. Teach our students that what is expected of them every single day is their very best. They don’t have to be better than everyone else. They must work hard and perform to their personal best. It means showing up each day on time, being prepared, having a positive attitude and willing to take any service, even if they don’t need any more of that service.
And educators, we don’t get to sit this one out. It means that we must also show up every single day and give it our best. We must be prepared for class with engaging and educational lessons, we must start on time, we must be available to help all students when they need it. We can’t phone it in on the days we just aren’t feeling it. We must live by the idea that “Best is the Standard”.
When we as educators show up and give our absolute best every single day, we can, in turn, ask the same thing from our students. I’m giving you my best, all I ask is that in return you give me your best!