Thursday, August 20, 2009

Outliers.....What a great read!!!!

I know it's been like year and a half since my last post. I'm sorry....I guess graduate school, work, trainings, baby work, and well everything else in between has been sucking up my time. I'm sure that none of you are busy, or even stressed out right now (liars), but in case you are in need of something to fill up your I have something for you!!!

My father recommended this book to me called Outliers. It sounded fairly interesting, and from what I understood, it seemed revolve around factors that define those who have demonstrated above and beyond greatness. I was intrigued by this concept, since as teacher, I would like all of my students to have that kind of success.

If someone were to ask you, why Bill Gates is so successful, how would you answer? Would it be because of his intelligence? Or maybe because of his hard work? Those are reasonable answers, but since very few people have amassed the wealth and success that he has, the answer is not as simple. The author, Malcolm Gladwell, does a remarkable job of breaking down all the factors that have helped established Bill Gates. What you discover from the research, was that not only was he smart but he was so determined that he was able to put in over 10,000 hours of work in his field of study. By living so close to the University of Seattle (within walking distance) he was able to take advantage of his environment.

I know what you're thinking....that's nice, but how does that relate to my students? Good question. In order for anybody to be an expert at something, Malcolm Gladwell has researched that it takes at least 10,000 hours to develop their skill. But it's not enough just doing the amount of practice hours alone. They need support and guidance from someone who they can give them the proper feedback when needed.

Think about any objective that you feel they should have by the time they graduate. Whatever it may be, the student who tries to cram it all in and the end, won't be anywhere near as successful as the one who prepares well in advance. No surprise, right? From here on out, encourage the parents to find a task that matches the given objective. It take a village to raise a child...which means no teacher can do it alone.

Outliers is a fun, and an enjoyable read. I challenge you know to find it somewhere, and find out for yourself.