Relationships Podcast Post

Deadlines and Homework

George Grombacher April 27, 2023

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Deadlines and Homework

Schools are getting rid of homework and deadlines. 

This is dumb. Here’s why. 


Here’s the WSJ article


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Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
I was reading a Wall Street Journal article last night that I was just going through the headlines, and one of them piqued my interest said that schools are ditching homework and deadlines. Now, I am a person who is constantly progressing. In fact, I like Abraham Maslow believes that our prime directive as human beings, is to realize our ultimate potential. And in order to do that we need needs met, and all that which we’re all familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. But did you know that he really believed that our number one driver was to realize our potential as human beings? In fact, he believed that mediocrity was it pathology, that it was pathological, just to be an average person. So I think that that is profound. And I was really glad that I found his writing and his thinking on that. So when I read about schools, ditching homework and getting rid of deadlines, I find that to be really concerning. I believe, and I know that to get what you want, in life, goals must be set, plans must be made. And then work must be done to achieve those things. And an integral part of that. That’s not a process that we just, I think, no, we need to be taught. That’s really the purpose of what school is education is to teach us things. Not simply about, you know, Bs topics, like parallelograms, no offense to parallelograms out there, or to the people that love them. But you get the idea. It’s not so much subject matter. It’s, am I able to do I have the skills to learn new things, to set goals and accomplish things to work independently to work with others. These are really, really, really important skills that are taught and delivered and given to us through things like deadlines, and things like homework. So, like so many things going on in the world right now. It’s very possible that people’s hearts are in the right place. But there are so many unintended consequences, along with big changes. And I think that I think that this is a huge mistake. And I think that it’s going to have a far greater negative impact on young people on kids, which will eventually turn into adults than, than whatever they’re trying to accomplish by getting rid of homework had deadlines. Now, if you had told me when I was in school, junior high, high school, college, hey, no deadlines, no more hallmark of a great, that’s awesome. But, you know, I’m a child at that point. And I do not know what is good for me. That’s why there are grownups around, and teachers, and administrators, and people who make policies and adults on school boards to help apply some of the wisdom that you have, having lived on earth and experienced, working with other human beings and actually getting things done. So that we recognize that there’s really real real value there. So what is true? It’s true that deadlines are extremely important. What to deadlines, bring us deadlines. Help us to realize that action is required in order to meet set deadline. If you’ve ever procrastinated on anything, which you obviously have, which I obviously have things really hasten when you get closer to that deadline. I think that my wife is one of those people that did all the work, probably spaced it out or got it done way before the deadline. I was one of those people that would cram for the test the night before or stay up late reading the paper, whatever it is, but that deadline, it mode a lot motivated and catalyzed action for getting it done. And obviously I didn’t I don’t know if it’s obvious or not. I didn’t always wait to the last minute. Eventually you figure out but eventually, I figured out that it’s better to be working on things along the way. And at this point in my life, I recognize and apply initiate how important it is to recognize what it needs to be done. Here’s what I’m trying to accomplish, here’s what needs to be done on a daily basis in order to get there without pulling my hair out running around like a crazy person. I also know that something called Parkinson’s Law exists. And Parkinson’s Law tells us that work will either expand or contract to fill the amount of space, or that fill the amount of time available for its completion tape. So that means that if a good example of this is when you slip through your locker, and instead of having two hours to go through your morning routine, you only have one hour, but odds are you still get it all done. You’re still out the door, running around a little faster, doing things more fanatically, but you’re getting it all done. Another way to think about that is, if in your work, you need to make 20 telephone calls today. Well, if you give yourself all day to do it, it’s going to take you all day to do it. But give yourself an hour, I bet you get it done in an hour. This is true of most anything. It’s also true of our spending, or our expenses, I think that our expenses will expand or contract to consume all available resources in this example, money. And that’s why a budget is important because it’s giving parameters say no, you can’t spend all your money on entertainment, you have this much to spend on entertainment, because there are other things that need to get done. And so when it comes to a deadline, it’s essentially doing that saying, hey, you’ve got this much time to get all the things done that you need to and especially when we’re talking about young people, they do not inherently have the skills. They’re not the this, some people do. Sure, but the majority of us, let’s break it down. If if 10% of the population just is doing everything that they need to, they are getting their homework done on time, they are showing up when they’re supposed to be there, they’re eating right, they’re exercising, they’re reading, there’s 10%, who are just not going to do it all. But that 80%, the rest of us are in that middle. And we need help in learning how to manage our time, how to work independently, how to work with other people, deadlines teach all of these things. They help us to set goals, they help us to make plans for doing that. They help create accountability. They help to facilitate communication and teamwork, all of these things are extremely beneficial and valuable. Far beyond school, far beyond school, it’ll help you just be a better member of your community, a better member of your company, or a better president of the organization that you run or whatever. All super positive things that we are taking away from young people. If we’re getting rid of really important things, stressful things, like, like deadlines, and certainly homework. And to think that and again, what what what the motivations are encourage you to read the article. But there are just consequences to all of these decisions. One of the teachers talked about how apathy is now pervasive in the classroom. Go figure that dots crazy who could have seen that coming? And is apathy a good thing or a bad thing? Well, I think it’s one of the worst things in the world. Like that an apathetic person that just means is not important enough for me to care about. And especially a young person. I mean, I was pretty apathetic about a lot of stuff when I was teenager. And I, I was, by many measures, pretty successful and pretty driven for a teenager, yet still apathetic. So you take away some of that stuff from kids that aren’t necessarily that driven or interested. You’re just gonna get more apathy. And that’s not a good thing. And they’re also banning extra credit. So I mean, how that makes any sense at all? I don’t know. But teaching young people that are going above and beyond and doing more, let’s just get rid of that. Why would Why would anybody want somebody to go the extra mile? Why would anybody want people to be working harder than they need to be? So I think that that’s a head scratcher too. All things in life have a time value. And the earlier we do things, the more return that we’re going to get. The longer we wait to do things, the harder they become to achieve. If you don’t think that that’s true, okay.

It can be from a number standpoint, the longer that you wait to start saving money for your retirement, the more money you have to save and the harder It becomes to achieve financial goals. If you think it’s super easy to lose weight at 20, well, maybe it is. But it’s a lot harder to lose weight. When you’re 40 years old, it’s really hard to lose weight, it seems at 44 Anybody can identify with that just becomes harder, the longer we wait. So deadlines, help us to recognize that and give us parameters this needs to be done. If I don’t get it done, there’s going to be a consequence, it’s going to be much, much harder, my life will be harder. So, again, this is not inherent. I wish I wish that everybody had self discipline, I wish that everybody was self motivated. But it doesn’t just happen that way. We need to learn these skills. Just like you used to not be able to walk, used to crawl around everything, we’ve learned everything. And self discipline is a learned skill. It is not something that we just inherently have. And because of that, if you believe self discipline to be a valuable thing, which I believe it to be, we need to teach people how to cultivate it. And the way you do that is by first putting structure in place. You put structure in place, you do that, in the form of things like deadlines. You teach people how to study, you teach people how to complete work, you teach them how to execute, you hold them accountable, to what what needs to be done. And then you help them to actually do it. And what happens when we set a goal, we work towards it, and we achieve it. magic happens. We become confident, we become disciplined. We become we feel good about ourselves, we learn new skills. We learn how to work with other people, I learned how to how to get the things that I need. So that I don’t know that we can all agree that that’s a good thing or not. I think it is, I think it’s essential. What do you think? Maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t think so. I think that these things are true. So the value of a deadline. It’s doesn’t always feel good, stressful. What I think not only do we need deadlines, I think we need short deadlines. Now what else we need, we need high expectations. Let’s put this together. short deadlines, high expectations. You and I don’t have time. Gosh, I don’t have time I got one crack at this deal. In the center on a weight away. Make plans, set deadlines for making those plans, get to work, execute. teach kids about that. And I’m certainly trying to teach my kids about the importance of these things. stuff. They’re not going to get them in school. That’s my responsibility anyway. It’s my responsibilities are my kids. And your kids are your kids. And it’s your job. You are the CEO of family, education school. That’s important, but they’re not running the show. They’re essentially a partner of yours. And if your partner is not doing the things that you want them to do, or expect them to do that have conversations, getting a little bit off track here, you get the idea. So get rid of homework. Maybe get rid of deadlines, no way. We’re setting ourselves up for failure. As as a culture as a society. We’re certainly setting up young people for failure if we remove deadlines, because there’s such important thing. So as always, do your part, but doing your best

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