I recently read 15 Ways to Succeed in Business, an article by Wendy Pierasall. You can read it here: http://excelle.monster.com/benefits/articles/2356-15-ways-to-succeed-in-business.
I like to read about businesses for a couple of reasons. First, my wife and I have owned a private swim club and now a Cold Stone Creamery. Reading articles and books have been helping me gain as much knowledge as she already possesses. After about 10 years, I can confidently say I am half way there. Secondly, I want to prepare my students for career and college readiness, the latest buzzwords in education. Funny, I thought we have always strived to prepare students for the future.
Today I have decided to have a little fun, and try to illustrate how an average freshman would respond to the 15 ways to succeed. Don’t worry world! Most of the kids will mature and be successful. I think.
- Be a Salesperson. I have to do what? I’m not selling anything in English class. I hate to read and write! You mean a negative attitude can affect my grades or even who wants to work with me? Why do I always get stuck with the kids who do not do their best?
- Delay Gratification. What does gratificationmean? Oh, well, I disagree. Every assignment we do should be for points. Except the ones I don’t do. Every assignment, including essays, should be graded and returned the next day. I need to have my grades improve to get my iPod, iPhone, and iPad back today!
- Discipline. I do work hard when I want to! Oh, it’s more than just working hard? Ok, can I go to my locker? My book, notebook, and pen are there.
- Take Risks. I’m here, aren’t I? Just kidding. Why do I have use complete sentences? The essay has to be how long? Can’t I just read the end of the book? Or just see the movie?
- Build Rapport. What does rapport mean? Oh, so we are going to do group work and make friends. I can do that. You mean building rapport actually is about building respect and a reputation for getting assignments done right? Can I be in the group with the kid who does this well?
- Be a Leader. Seriously? Nobody is going to listen to me. Everyone else is smarter and cuter and better. What if I seem bossy? They might tweet about me.
- Be Uncomfortable. Sure, make me be the leader and I will be uncomfortable. And, writing is hard. I don’t like to have to revise my essays so many times. Nobody will be able to tell the difference, anyway.
- Inspire. Who me? I’m just a kid. What do I do that is so great? Other kids have fought cancer, been through tough home lives, face addictions, are athletic, musically inclined, feed the homeless, and even get better grades. You have to great big things to inspire, don’t you?
- Focus. Related to discipline is focus—the ability to tune out “noise” that can distract you from your goal. That noise could be people who doubt you, busywork, doing too much “social” networking, or perhaps worst of all, the noise inside of your own head of self-doubt, fear, or unrealistic expectations of yourself. Personally, I’ve only heard about these things, I can’t say I know this from experience.
- Understand Numbers. What? But, this is English class! This makes no sense. Oh, by the way, can you tell me my grade? I think I only missed four or five assignments including that project. It shouldn’t be too low. It is? The end of the grading period is tomorrow. Can I do extra credit? No? That’s not fair!
- Analysis. Well, I only missed one assignment – that essay on that book we read. How can that bring my grade down so much? I got an 80% on the story I wrote. Why are you asking me to divide 80 by 2? Can I turn the essay in tomorrow?
- Ask for Help. I do that. Why, just last night I skyped my best friend. We talked for hours. She helped me write the essay. What does “incoherent, muddled, incomprehensible jumble of poorly punctuated locution” mean? Why do I need to stay after school for help?
- Know Thyself. I know I hate reading and writing. That is why I avoid it. Plus, I’m not friends’ with that smart girl in class. So, I can’t ask her to proofread my essay.
- Balance Ego with Humility. I know you are not talking about me. I always have something to say during discussion. You can tell I haven’t read the story? So, it’s not like you take away participation points. You do? Oh. That’s not fair!
- Persistence. You mean keep trying. That takes way too much time. If I can’t write the perfect essay the first time, then I prefer to procrastinate. I get it done in time. It may not be perfect, but it didn’t take a lot of time either.
Do you have any lessons to add? How about pretending to be a teenager responding to it?