Monday, December 29, 2008

The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Teflers - #3

Yes, it's time for one from the old TeflTrade archive again, folks. Well, it is holiday time, and you can't really expect me to bother my addled Tefl-size brain with the task of creating fresh entertainment, can you. So just enjoy this one, the second time around.

I’ll begin this one with a quote, and rather a long one at that, as I’m not feeling too creative at the moment. Hopefully, this defining extract from the Wikipedia will serve as a little preliminary inspiration.

“Put First Things First. Here, Covey describes a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at long-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear to be urgent, but are in fact less important. Delegation is presented as an important part of time management. Successful delegation, according to Covey, focuses on results and benchmarks that are to be agreed in advance, rather than on prescribing detailed work plans.”

So, Mr Covey reckons that, does he? So, erm, … see that pile of homework that needs marking? You might think it’s urgent, but Covey reckons it can wait. So drop it, and go off to the pub to think about your long-term goals. Cancel tomorrow’s lesson-planning too, and just indulge in a spot of metaphysical dogme-esque pondering of your own future – perhaps outside the world of EFL?

Of course, if delegation is truly an important part of your time management, you’d best share out the homework with the students – yeah, peer-marking! Now it’s all looking a bit familiar, innit!? This guy was probably a teacher before he found a proper job to do.

Time-management? Obviously it’s essential to get a grip here, so always ensure you’ve got at least two pints in by the time the ‘last orders’ bell rings. Again, effective delegation should ensure that another student is around to pay for the beer – and to carry you home as well, should the need arise.

And don’t forget the other bit about focusing on ‘results and benchmarks that are to be agreed in advance’. No, I don’t think he had students scribbling on desks in mind. I reckon he was rather more into this: tell student A to give her work to student B, whom you have an agreement with to give a decent grade. This will also save you loads of unnecessary agro later on, and will ensure that your student evaluations are pretty good too (remember those long-term goals – to keep your job, no matter what).

And what’s this about casting the ‘detailed work-plans’ into the water? No more lesson-planning .. ever?! Mr Covey, I loves ya! So, if your DOS comes screaming for a lesson plan or two, even a weekly outline, just give him a slap round the face with the Covey book first. Then inform him that you’ve delegated that particular responsibility to the blonde Swiss student who arrived at your class this morning; and tell him that you’ve “discovered a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at long-term goals”, and you’re off to consider the application of that very paradigm with the student in question at the Lamb and Flag.

It all sounds unmistakably mature and business-like to me.

First Published: Sunday, 11 June 2006


'Alex' left this comment on 12 Jun 06
You are wicked, Mr Sandy, wicked for taking the pee out of Mr Covey. Sensible business strategy and TEFL do good bed-fellows make. Then there is, of course, the plethora of sensible managers, something else that the TEFL field is famous your scribblings attest.

'Sandy' left this comment on 12 Jun 06
Ah yes, I'd never thought of that - applying Covey's ramblings to the murky management of EFL! Now you've got me all a-pondering, Alex...

'A visitor' left this comment on 12 Jun 06
I worked at a school like this! Seriously! It was weird. Having to get into a contract with the students about what their goals were that semester and what my goals were and resulting in mutually agreed benchmarks for the term.

Actually what happened was I passed out a questionnaire and a bunch of students returned them with the question "Aren´t you supposed to tell us our goals?" and we went back to the coursebook.

'nuff said.

'A visitor' left this comment on 13 Jun 06
Candida, you are SUCH A TART!!

How much do you charge for the full gubbins?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the sun and the attractions. Maybe delete after review?