Work “Smharder!”

Last weekend Dr. Karla and I had a slight, I wouldn’t say disagreement, more like a differing perspective on the popular, well-worn saying, “you have to work smarter, not harder.”

I must say that I am guilty of too-often forgetting that most people do not have my experience and area of expertise, which precipitated the “disagreement.”  Not that Dr. K doesn’t (she does), I mean non-educators.

The offending article was from the Atlantic Monthly about what makes great teachers, the “work smarter, not harder” quote was from a successful teacher to his class.  Before I begin my explanation let me say that Dr. K is right, we DO have to work smarter and students need to know that often there “is a better way,” and doing poorly usually is not a product of inability.

I agree 100% on the “work smarter” part of the quote.  I’m stumbling my way through setting up and improving our school websites right now.  I know that “there’s an easier way, I just have to find it.” (I have that quote taped to my computer screen)   My last conversation with our web designer confirmed this.  She laughed and, after showing me the easier ways, said that I’ll be a pro before too long.

Kids DO have to be told that there is an easier, smarter way–and great teachers show them.

I take umbrage with saying because of the “not harder” part.  As I said, I understand the point of the saying but rail against the cliche for the sole fact that we MUST work, and work hard, usually harder than we are working now to progress and succeed.

I say we have to work both Smarter and Harder.

Great teachers show us how to work smarter, how to get results faster, and how to use effective strategies and tactics we don’t know about.   We students have a responsibility to also work harder to implement their advice.

“Hard (& Smart) Work ALWAYS Beats Talent
When Talent Refuses to Work Hard”

Be sure to read Dr. Karla’s blog entry about one of her father’s favorite sayings…