There was a time when I turned to the popular business improvement literature for ideas on how to be a better teacher. I reasoned that since a business is necessarily grounded in reality, by its profit and loss statement if nothing else, the various authors’ recommendations would be effective and actually work. I read such books as Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline and Tom Peter’s A Passion for Excellence among others. I am changed by the experience – in my view of myself as a working professional, in my perspectives on the institutions I have worked for, in my views on the educational systems in this country, and in the demands I make on myself and my students.
All this is to explain the title of the following list that appears in all my class syllabi.
Five Habits of Highly Effective Students
- They show up on time or early.
- They show up ready to work and prepared for the day.
- They have done their homework.
- Their work shows they care.
- They actively participate in the endeavors of the day.