Teaching vs. Cloning

I love productivity.

It’s a full-fledged hobby, I admit. I’m always looking for ways to accomplish more, and books like Getting Things Done are beach reading for me.

In my day job as an academic advisor, I teach a class called Skills for Academic Success. I love my job in general, but teaching this class is my favorite part. It’s gratifying to see people make positive changes in their lives and know that in a small way, I helped bring that about.

My first time teaching the class was a huge learning experience, and my students taught me a lot in a hurry. One of the first things they taught me, in fact, was that that most people do not want to sit around and ponder time management systems for fun. They were not interested in geeking out with me, no matter how excited I got about goal-setting, Next Action lists, and the like. Some of them didn’t even color-code their calendars, if you can believe that. Crazy!

I had to come to grips with the fact that my goal was not to create 19 copies of myself, but to hand my students a box of tools, teach them different ways to use those tools, and push them out into the world to use them (or not use them) however they see fit.

Teaching isn’t about trying to make our students exactly like us, even through that’s what feels natural at first. It’s about helping them become a better version of themselves.