Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Taking Short Cuts

“If you can’t afford the time and effort to do it right, you probably can’t afford to do it over after you realize that the shortcut was merely a trap.”

I  agreed a few months ago to help set up an online course for a university course that I had taught in person. I had mentioned this to a couple of other educators who have taught online courses and they warned me away from it. But I was flattered to be needed and after talking it over with a colleague, I agreed to give it a try. We thought we could just include the material which comes with the textbook and that it wouldn’t be too much work. I should have listened to the friends who warned me about this.

It would be easy to do a few shortcuts and not care but that is not the kind of teacher that I am or want others to see me as being. I put the bare basics in but wasn’t happy with how it looked. Yes, it would be a shortcut, but the course would end up being pretty bad and not up to the standards of the university.

So, I decided to tweak it just a little. These little tweaks involved a lot more time than I had originally planned.

These little tweaks led to bigger tweaks and now I’m totally involved in a huge project that I had not originally envisioned.

I believed that the short cuts would have made this an easy project. If I had listened to Seth Godin and my friends, I would have realized that there are no easy shortcuts to any job that is well done. I remember my parents always telling me that if I was going to do a job, then do it right, and do it the best that I could. Taking short cuts with this course would not be doing the best that I could.

When things don’t turn out right or the way I really wanted them to turn out, I reflect on whether I had done my best. Did I take short cuts that I should not have taken? Should I have put more effort into it? I know, deep in my heart and mind, if I had done my best. If I have, then I need to not beat myself over the head with it and try to resolve the problem and fix it. I have not given it my best, I need to own up to it, and fix the problem without grumbling.

This is an important concept that my students need to learn. They need to know that a job worth doing is a job worth doing right. Taking short cuts are not always the answer and usually doesn’t lead to success in or out of the classroom.

How do you feel about short cuts? Please share.

Photo by Artur Aldyrkhanov on Unsplash

No comments: