I love this short posting by Seth Godin, master of the short and sweet!
This provocation is particularly poignant for teachers. I often hear teachers saying “I can’t catch up” and listing vast quantities of things they are trying to get done each day. Some of these things are self-inflicted, of course. Some of us are sadly deficient in the art of saying “no” – and it is particularly hard to say “no” to kids. Some of us are just so interested in everything that we get involved in loads of little projects that eat away at our time and fill our inboxes.
However, there is a bigger and rather disturbing issue at play here. We often find ourselves trying to teach too many things at the same time. In the end, ultimately, we teach more stuff with less depth than less stuff with more depth. That’s a bit sad isn’t it?
So, when that student you speak to next week shocks you by saying things like “I can’t remember learning that” or “I don’t think we’ve done that before” it probably isn’t their fault. At the time, they were probably grappling with a vast quantity of “stuff” that teachers were frantically rushing through with them… just because they have to. Or, is it just because they think they have to?