Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Being productive and powerful

Dr. Scott McLeod has a great post on his Dangerously Irrelevant blog about productivity and power not only in our students but in our teachers as well.

Personal note: I was extremely productive in June but what happened to July? (I can tell you it was little things that needed to be done that had nothing to do with me moving forward).

He brings up some great points:
  1. Do worksheets (over and over) make kids more productive?
  2. Does seat work make students empowered?
  3. Is productivity and being powerful equal for all students?
So what is meant by productivity? We want more time and money in order to do something we enjoy. The theory of the Hedonic Treadmill is that even as income increases, happiness does not. And happiness does not always increase power either. The Hedonic Treadmill basically states that we get used to things, no matter what they are. Your happiness stays close to a specific baseline.

So how do you increase productivity? You structure your life.
  1. Balance - this means a minimum level of recreation
  2. Set regular goals focused on things other than happiness
A balanced life is productive. More people chase happiness especially in things that do not increase their happiness.

People who are productive struggle to stay there - they struggled to get there in the first place. IT IS THE PROCESS OF CONTINUOUS LEARNING THAT KEEPS THEM THERE! They read, go to conferences, connect to others, and tackle new concepts regularly. Use the best tools, techniques, and ideas that come your way.

So, what activities keep you back? For me, I think I deserve down time watching TV on the couch. I am no happier for it. I also believe I have to have my fingers in everything but the stress of not keeping up creates unhappiness. That is not productive.
How can we increase our productivity?

Better yet, how can we increase the productivity and power in our students?

Tags: productivity, empowerment, education

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