Everyone gets a trophy…Why?

This post was written and saved several years ago. I feel that it’s time to share it as nothing seems to have changed, with even adults now talking about this mindset.

*Please check out Deidre’s short teacher encouragement video at the end of this post.*


The “Voices” are out there – taking our message to those who will listen. It is a message about returning to doing things God’s way so He will bless our nation again and we can leave a decent legacy for our children. Whether I am attending festivals, vendor shows, church-sponsored events, or Deidre is traveling to visit relatives, friends, and former colleagues, our book is moving into the hands of many and we are thankful.

Our title sums up what seems to be a growing trend – whether you win, lose, or just participate – everyone gets a trophy. There seems to no longer be an incentive to strive for more, work harder, or “keep your eyes on the prize.” As one six-year-old recently told me, It doesn’t matter if we win, I’ll still get a trophy.” That’s just SAD! At the ripe old age of six, she already knows that it doesn’t matter how much effort she puts into the game, the cheer, or the race, because everyone is rewarded for just showing up!

Contrast that with what Steelers linebacker, James Harrison, said about a similar situation: “I came home to find out that my sons got two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do, and will encourage them until the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe they are entitled to something just because they tried their best . . . cause sometimes your best is not enough … and that should drive you to want to do better . . . not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut you up and keep you happy.”

Let me take that participation mindset further. If you have grown up receiving government assistance, as did your mother and her mother before her, don’t you accommodate to that lifestyle? Why work when any effort to do so might jeopardize that income? As a result, we now have several generations of citizens in our country who expect their lifestyle to be supported by others while all they have to do is “show up.” This situation is just as puzzling to me as the trophy one. How do we change this mindset and teach our young people that it takes work, sometimes hard work, to succeed in life?

I fought a difficult battle in the middle school classroom at times trying to convince sixth and eighth graders that hard work will pay off in the end. Instant gratification was so much more rewarding, but that is not reality. Sometimes in life, it takes effort, learning from mistakes, and time to accomplish what we want. As I mentioned in one of the chapters of our book:

“Nothing pleases me more as a teacher than seeing a student slowly but surely improve in my class. Moving from a “D” the first nine weeks to a “B” by the end of the year is a dramatic change and a true lesson in life. Hard work does pay off regardless of the area of involvement.” (Ch. X, pg.146)

How is that lesson learned if everyone gets a trophy? Participation is just a step in that direction – let’s get back to teaching our children that not winning is OK if they have tried their best. However, the trophies belong to those who accomplished the most. Maybe next year . . .

Sue – Voice II


Everyone gets a trophy, in my opinion, can easily be paired with everyone will get a trial. Even if children are rewarded with a trophy for just being on a team, and people receive government assistance when they can possibly work for it, they still must face the reality that everything in life does change. The government now requires individuals who receive help for food, housing and utilities to go out and volunteer at select companies or go back to school for on-job training, and those of us who are still employed or retired from long years of hard work can rejoice as we shout, “AMEN!” Likewise all those Pop Warner and little leaguers who were rewarded the same-regardless, will eventually grow up and obtain jobs or go on to schools of higher learning and education. In the “real” world, they will find out how you only get a paycheck when you work for it, or you will only receive the grade which you have earned. Unfortunately, it will be a hard truth that many will have to face a little too late.

The Bible says in this life we will have trials and tribulations. Contradictory situations in life occur as we experience happy and sad, the good and the bad, sunshine and rain, life and death all interacting and all being intertwined into our daily lives. We definitely don’t always get to choose how or when these things will occur, but we do get to choose the attitude with which we handle them. Yet, we all will experience the highs and lows of life whether we think we deserve to or not.

Everyone getting a trophy is certainly not the best lesson life has to offer anyone, and everyone going through a trial may not be the worst of it. However, the greatest trophy to seize is not a tangible one; it can be found in the message that the Apostle Paul taught when he declared, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.” (Phil 3:14) To lose out on obtaining the most undeserved and unmerited rewarded crown of all time known as Salvation, would indeed be the greatest travesty one could ever endure or witness.

Deidre – Voice I


Check out our latest youtube video “Why Teach…?” below.


Look at God!


(Krish – Pinterest)

Have you ever wondered if God really cares about the details of your life and what is important to you? I had an experience that illustrates the answer to that question last year that I wanted to share by posting it here, but life got in the way. However, the truth of the awesomeness of what happened with Deidre and me still demonstrates this title, so here it is – finally. I hope it blesses you.

“God is good – all the time!”  I’ve heard this quote and the one in the title above numerous times, but really experienced it in a situation that happened last fall. I would like to share this story with you from my point of view.

2018 was a difficult year for my co-author and dear friend, Deidre. She had on-going medical problems for months that interfered with her work and personal life. Many days she was confined in her bed, unable to do much from day to day. I was concerned and prayed for her healing, but since we were hours apart, I didn’t see or experience her condition. 
Usually blessed with good health, I caught a flu-bug last November and was sick for four to five days. On Sunday I was in bed, scrolling through Facebook because going to church was out of the question. Up pops a feed: “The Potters House, Jacksonville . . . live.” That’s Deidre’s and Larry’s church, so I thought, “I can worship right here by watching, and maybe Larry is singing today.” He was part of the praise group, and after the opening songs Deidre’s Bishop, Vaughn McLaughlin, began to tell the congregation about one of their elderly member’s illness and wanted a time of prayer for her and any others who had recently received discouraging news from their doctor. He asked them to make their way forward so they could receive prayer. Unbeknownst to me, Deidre had received such news that week, and was on her way to the front, using a cane for support. As those in the front began to pray, I glimpsed her raising her hands in supplication and others laying their hands on her in prayer. I couldn’t believe I was witnessing this scene! After several minutes, the prayer time concluded and Deidre returned to her seat. With tears streaming down my face, I prayed for her right there in my bed, and thanked God for allowing me to be a part of this special time in my friend’s life. Deidre walked away without her cane and into her healing. How good of Him to let me be a part of it so many miles away. Only a God who cared about both of us would have orchestrated something so special. He is indeed good!

Sue – Voice II

This entry was posted on July 21, 2019. 1 Comment

The Reality of Life in the Classroom

This week in my classroom…
by Carly Jo Calace

– I sent a child to the nurse in the morning. She had a 102 fever and threw up. No one could reach her parents the entire day. They never came to get her after school. The nurse walked her home and the parents didn’t even come to the door to find out why.
– A previous student from last year visited me during lunch. She told me all about how her cousin was murdered last night. Everyone is crying and sad. They’re going to see the body today. She spent her entire recess and my whole lunch break with me just chatting.
– One of my students and his mother were kicked out his aunt’s trailer home and had to move into a shelter. Luckily we can provide special busing so he can still come to our school.
– Another student showed up in the same white shirt 3 days in a row, which by yesterday, had turned gray with with grime. Thank goodness our school has extra clothes to give him and a shower if it comes to that.
– A different student’s father didn’t show up to chaperone for our field trip like he said he would. The child was sick with worry because his dad left angry the night before and never came home. He’s still not home. A trip to the counselor helped him out a lot.
– On the bus ride to said field trip, another student told me all about his secret money hiding space under his trailer home. He further explained that he has to hide his money because his grandpa steals it to buy cigarettes. He now hides his money in my desk drawer because grandpa found his new hiding place (it’s only $5).
– A little girl asked to grab 2 pears instead of one because she worried her mom was too tired to the grocery store again. I gave her a bag of extra food and snacks that the school keeps around. Good thing we give all of our students free breakfast and lunch.
– A little boy showed up with a shaved head. He was so embarrassed that he refused to take his hood off his head. Eventually he told me his mom shaved his head because his aunt has lice so badly that you can see the bugs jumping around. He was terrified of the lice crawling into his ears and getting into his brain. A little research together during recess put his fears to bed.
– Another student shared that, when her dad gets out of jail, he’s bringing her to Dave N’ Busters. We started her a countdown on our class calendar.
– Her story prompted another boy to share that his dad is going to get his ankle monitor off soon so they can go for a bike ride this summer. Of my 28 students, I know of 5 who have a parent that has recently been or still is incarcerated.

Keep in mind that these are just the events of ONE week in ONE classroom. Are we actually surprised that so many of these kids can’t read or add? Is it really public schools that are failing kids? Maybe schools have to be more than a place to learn for some kids. Support public schools – they’re doing more for kids than you can even begin to understand.

The following is not part of my original post. Rather, it is a comment I wrote that has since been lost in the shuffle of other comments.

“First, I want to say that I am overwhelmed by the amount of support shown to teachers and school staff in the comments of this post. I was shocked when this post was shared over a hundred times. Now it’s reached thousands. That speaks volumes about the number of people that appreciate the hard work done in our schools! I am grateful for your support. Sometimes a small “thank you” is all a teacher needs to get though a tough day.

Second, I am disheartened by the negativity shown towards parents in some of the comments. I thought about keeping quiet, but decided to chime in. By no means do I think what is happening to the students in my classroom, and in classrooms across the nation, is acceptable. And, as adults, parents do need to take responsibility for the care of their own children. That being said, the students in my classroom today – the sweet, broken children that you want to hug and love so much – will, statistically speaking, likely grow-up to become adults just like their parents. The cycle will continue and one day their children will be my students, repeating their parents’ same sad story. Rather than focus on the faults of the parents, I think we need to shift our focus to ending the cycle. Research supports the huge difference one consistent, caring adult can have in the life of a child. Find a child in need – be that adult. Stop the cycle.

I hope this comment doesn’t spark controversy, but rather encourages us to seek out possible answers to the horrific problems our children are facing daily. Children are suffering and so is our society. They might not be our children or our responsibility to clothe, feed and raise, but don’t we all have a responsibility to leave this place better than we found it?”

Also, for those who were concerned, I’d like to reassure you that I am very aware of my position as a mandatory reporter and take that role seriously, as do all the teachers and staff members I work with.

Thank you again. Theses days I rarely see posts on Facebook where the response is almost 100% positive and supportive. I’m glad we are able to unite behind such an important issue, the well-being and happiness of our kids.

Kindest regards,

Carly (and Sue)

Are You Tired?


Do you ever get tired? Not physically tired, but just worn out listening to news, observing bad drivers, seeing yet another advertisement for a TV show you would never watch (wondering how in the world anyone thought it was even appropriate), hearing about a new law being considered by legislators who should know better, observing one phone video after another on social media that demonstrates unacceptable behavior – just tired!
I’m about to that point, but I’ve decided to try and “keep on keeping on” until the Lord takes me home. I’m praying more too because there seems to be a lot of situations that can only be handled in that way.
God told us in His word that these days would come – a falling away from His ways, natural disasters, people calling wrong things “right” and right things “wrong.” He told us; so I pray . . . but I’m tired.
Then I remind myself that it’s ok to be tired because He will sustain me and never leave me.
Are you tired too? Remind yourself of what I just said, and remember that God is in control – even when it doesn’t look like it.

Sue – Voice II


It’s 2019 – that in itself seems unbelievable!
My 2018 was very busy with church activities, some book shows, but mostly with preparations to move to Virginia and sell our home in the “woods.” With God’s help we did it, and are still settling in and digging out of boxes.

I don’t know what this year holds for me, but I do know that my Heavenly Father is in control of it, and that is so comforting. I may have a new home, but my ultimate residence is with Him where He is “preparing a place for me” because of the saving grace provided by my Savior. I will be home there for eternity.
Can you say the same – do you know Jesus?