Whenever I read an article or blog post, I think about it’s implications for teaching. I can’t help it. I’m a teacher 24-7-365. Drives my family nuts sometimes but it’s who I am.
Reading Seth Godin’s latest blog post, The art of seduction, this morning was no different. Seth’s talking about marketing but I’m thinking about teaching. No, not in a creepy Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau kind of way. Don’t go there.
Anyway, I’m thinking about how teachers are not unlike salesmen. In fact, the more “traditional” the teacher, the more used car salesman-like they must be.
“Hey, kids, here’s what I want you to buy (learn) and how I want you to pay for it (show your learning). This is how much it’ll cost you (busy work, homework, hoop jumping, etc.). I don’t care if you want it or not, because I (or the feds, state, district, etc.) know better than you what you really need.”
By the way, I detest having to try to sell people stuff. I did it once for a month or so during college with a direct marketed product. I HATED trying to sell people stuff they didn’t want or need. That’s my idea of hell, really.
Then there’s the idea of choice in the classroom. Many teacher training programs and self-help guru books tell you to give the kids choices – just not too many. Let them choose from options A, B, or C. That’s differentiation in a nutshell…
That’s not real choice. That’s choice in a nutshell.
How about letting students choose anything from A to purple?