Day 95 (of 184) the link between @Seahawks ‘media days’ by @MoneyLynch & @RSHerman_25 vs classwork & homework
Maybe it’s the upcoming Superbowl and my unbiased (and long lasting) Seahawks fanaticism, so please excuse me if I delve a little too much into the sports world for this connection to the learning environment…
Richard Sherman, the Seahawks cornerback has been in the news for his ‘willingness’ to make comments to the media anytime anywhere. Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks running back has been taken for task for the ‘lack’ of willingness to make comments to the media anytime anywhere – with the media even going so far as to count the minutes and seconds (6min 27 seconds for day one). Much like in the classroom, these two athletes help show & model how ‘one size does NOT fit all’.
The connection I make (due to the tracking of minutes) connects back to a few ‘discussions’ I have had over the years over ‘how much homework’ students should be doing. I have never been a fan of ‘timed allotments’ with my skin twitching at open-nights where teachers talk about the classic ’10 minutes per grade’ approach. Or ‘one hour per subject’ in some cases. This makes a pretty broad assumption that learning fits in a ‘one size fits all mindset’.
I have always found the ‘time’ required is very personalized – and I often have suggested ’15 minutes of reading a night’ as a baseline – but that 15 minutes might range from comic books to classic novels. If anything, I prefer to put limits on homework – no more than 15/30/whatever minutes a night – as soon as learners are forcing themselves into zones of frustration, the learning starts. Want to read better? Read at ‘independent’ levels frequently. It works. Honest.
To assume that ‘every student’ should be doing the same ‘amount’ of homework makes me worry that ‘every student’ is only given the same amount of time to complete work in the classroom – and in the “fair isn’t always equal” mindset, learners don’t learn at the same rate and speed. Does every child need exactly 15 minutes to read and respond to a poem? Or to understand what happy primes are? More time doesn’t mean more success – it’s why my mother always encouraged me to work smarter, not harder – and to approach my work (carrying on from my father) by looking for and celebrating differences.
To assume every athlete will speak to the media for the same amount of time assumes that they are not individuals. It doesn’t take into account anxiety, personal skills (and it is Richard Shermans Communication Degree that supports his comfort in front of the camera, and ease at writing articles for si.com: http://mmqb.si.com/2014/01/28/richard-sherman-seattle-seahawks-super-bowl-xlviii/ )
Just because people wear the same uniform, or are sitting in the same grade level, it should not be assumed that everyone learns, or communicates the same. Our differences are what make us special (as long as you don’t get distracted by them and lose sight of the person) – something that seems key by this years Seahawks. After all, they have accepted a deaf fullback: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2HD57z4F8E
Lets not treat or measure all of our learners, or our sports celebrities as if they are all the same. Recognize we are all different even those of is all wearing “12” on our uniform.