Today the Obama administration releases the results of its stress tests for banks. Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, has said he hopes the results “will help lift this fog of uncertainty over the financial system, and think[s] the results will be, on balance, reassuring.” The stress tests evaluate whether the banks have the resources to survive in serious economic circumstances. Banks with a larger equity buffer are more likely to be able to weather tough economic times. For those banks who fail the stress test, the question is where the banks will get the capital they need to be deemed healthy.
As I was listening to a report about the stress tests on NPR driving to school this morning, I wondered what a stress test for teachers might look like. The analogy doesn’t work perfectly, but the kind of energy inventory suggested by Don Graves in The Energy to Teach comes to mind. Perhaps the most pressing question for me is- What is the capital that teachers need to be healthy? (This question that was addressed to a certain extent in this forum on the English Companion Ning.)
Part of me doesn’t really want to examine how my ledger got to the point where it is now. I’d like to think the reason I feel “in the red” has everything to do with other people (colleagues, administrators, challenging students) and not with me. I hate that I’ve reached a point where I’ve taken out way more than I’ve put in.
I also wonder sometimes if I’m the best judge of my own resources and debt obligations. The governement decided that banks needed help in evaluating their assets. A former colleague of mine has a great gift for recognizing my strengths and naming my fears and frustrations. I really miss him and love that he doesn’t mind when I randomly drop by in the afternoons.
What does your balance sheet look like? What kinds of activities add to your available resources? Do you think you’re a fair judge of your own ledger? If not, who helps you with the accounting?