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30 things we need less or more of

A principal's riddle: What's the difference between a teacher and a puppy? The puppy STOPS whining when you let it in the door.

Tony Schwartz in 30 Things We Need - and 30 Things We Don't (Harvard Business Review, March 8, 2011 - via For Whom the Bell Told than MA Bell!) composes the following list:

Information Wisdom
Shallow billionaires Passionate teachers
Self-promotion Self-awareness
Multitasking Control of our attention
Inequality Fairness
Sugar Lean protein
Action Reflection
Super sizes Smaller portions
Private jets High-speed trains
Calculation Passion
Experts Learners
Blaming Taking responsibility
Judgment Discernment
Texting Reading
Anger Empathy
Output Depth
Constructive criticism Thank-you notes
Possessions Meaning
Righteousness Doing the right thing
Answers Curiosity
Long hours Longer sleep
Complaining Gratitude
Sitting Moving
Selling Authenticity
Cynicism Realistic optimism
Self-indulgence Self-control
Speed Renewal
Emails Conversations
Winning Win-win
Immediate gratification Sacrifice


What would be on your We Need Less / We Need More libraries and education list? Here are a few of mine:

We Need Less / We Need More

  1. Testing / Context
  2. Right answers / Good questions
  3. Attention on teachers / Attention on students
  4. New technology / Well-used technology
  5. Hardware / Staff development
  6. Whining / Problem-solving
  7. Entertainment / Engagement
  8. Whole group / Individualization
  9. Reading-listening / Making - doing
  10. Focus on failures / Focus on successes
  11. Basal readers / Children's-YA lit
  12. Required classes / Electives
  13. Pundits / Research
  14. Helicopter parents / Involved parents
  15. Disengaged parents / Involved parents
  16. Data / Diagnostics
  17. Leaders / Managers
  18. Filtering on the network / Filtering between the ears
  19. 21st Century Skills / Skills
  20. Memorization of facts / Development of dispositions
  21. Textbooks / Bandwidth
  22. Worksheets / Games
  23. Restrictions / Responsibility
  24. Lists / Essays
  25. Labs / Personal student devices
  26. Standards / Relevance
  27. Competition / Social learning
  28. Evaluations / Encouragement
  29. FRP Lunches / Living wage jobs
  30. Polarization / Balance

 Your turn.

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Reader Comments (8)

Devotion to a bell curve/Commitment to children

Stable working conditions/Dynamic work ethic


Professional comfort/Professional growth

Attachment to past practice/Attention to today's student

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Hi Doug,
i am curious as to why you want more helicopter parents and disengaged parents as opposed to involved parents. I beileve we need :
Dictating to kids/more encouragement to make choices
Punishment/Consequences of behavior and actions
Autonomy of individual classroom teachers/group effort to educate a student
Judgment/More compassion
Resources for few/equality of resources to all students


March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRati Singhal

I think (hope) you have some turned around Doug, but..

Less / More
Want for personal success / want for the success of others
Being heard / listening
Answers / Questions

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoel VerDuin

We need fewer comments/ more questions.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeven Black

false dichotomy / comprehensive strategy


March 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

Good additions all. I fixed the parents items, but I may not have as many turned about as readers might think.

David, all I can say is that you either like dichotomies or you don't. ;-)


March 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Great list, Doug. Only one I'd appreciate some elaboration on was #17. Otherwise I agree, so no more discussion needed ;-)

March 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRuss Goerend

Hi Russ,

Leaders or managers?

I'm probably out in the wind by my lonesome on this one!


March 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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