Horseshoes & Hand Grenades


Many of you know that I recently transitioned from a Curriculum position to being a building Principal. While I had some experience working with facilities, being in charge of a building presents a constant barrage of facilities related concerns. I am fortunate to work with an amazing custodian who manages every aspect of our building, knows every nook and cranny, and dedicates himself to ensuring that the building is ready each morning for staff and students.

This year, we have been inundated with a number of construction projects, and I have mentioned several times that we are “almost finished.” And every time I say this, I am always greeted with the same response…

“Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”


When he says this, I always laugh, but I immediately understand the importance of his message.

I remember the saying from when I was a child, although the word almost was replaced by close.


It is a message that we must consider as educators.


Close and almost are words that we use just about every day.

But, we are never given credit for almost reaching kids or…

Almost innovating with students or…

Coming close to making a learning breakthrough with a child.


We must ensure that we are finishing the job. We are not dealing with horseshoes or hand grenades. We are dealing with students, and we must commit to following through on our promises to them. Remember that by getting close, we have not yet completed what we need to do. We must finish what we have started.

This might mean following through for students after they are gone from our classrooms. It might mean extending our reach beyond the classroom. It might mean making the extra effort to get to know our kids beyond our instruction.


As I have been reminded, “Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades…”

Never in education.


Rich (@RACzyz)


Special Thanks to Joe for all that he does every day!

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