For many people, it's enticing to take the easy road when faced with challenges that require more than ordinary effort to overcome. Most of us are confronted with these challenges on a regular basis, some more challenging than others, and how we respond is very telling about our individual character. A person's true character is often revealed only when challenged or stressed out of his or her comfort zone. It is extremely enticing to take the easy road when challenged, because one removes the challenge and justifies this decision in her or his mind by stating how difficult it would have been to overcome the challenge anyway.
As educators, we must be mindful of all of our decisions and lead by example, because we influence children's lives. Don't take the easy road, challenge yourself on a regular basis, and be the role model for hard-work and effort for your students to emulate. Share your experiences with them, and let them know how you choose to overcome challenges and difficult situations. I know you're probably thinking, "But these things aren't tested." I know they aren't, but it is, however, our duty as educators to remind our students not to always take the easy road. Individual effort and a strong work-ethic will allow our students to believe that they can overcome difficult challenges. When we emphasize these traits, we give our students the skills they need to succeed throughout life, not just on a standardized test.
Now, I just need to get our staff member to not take the easy road when the time comes for her to decide whether she will pursue a terminal degree.