That was pretty anti-climactic

Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: businesses, educational |

So here’s the story- One day about a month ago, I was eating raspberries at my kitchen counter and really enjoying them. They were delicious! I decided that I was going to be a nice consumer and email the company to tell them just how good their raspberries were. They were excited about my compliments and sent me an email back:

Dear Danielle,

Thank you for your compliments! While it is our mission to provide the most flavorful and delightful berries possible, it is always nice when someone takes the time to tell us how much they enjoyed our berries. I am so happy that you shared your positive experience with us.

Because you are a loyal Driscoll’s consumer I would like to mail you a coupon good towards your next purchase of Driscoll’s products. If you are interested please reply to this email with your mailing address. If you prefer to call in your address, please contact our consumer hotline below and they will take down your information.

After I received this email, I was excited! I was going to get free berries for being nice! I think it’s such an awesome thing when companies take care of their customers like that. At that moment, in my eyes, Driscolls berries were the best berries ever, and I was going to be a loyal customer for the rest of my life.

Well… I got the letter in the mail today. I opened it excitedly. I read the letter thanking me for my support, and looked at the free recipe pamphlet they gave me that had recipes that you can make with Driscoll berries. Then I unfolded the coupon…

There was one coupon for $1 off. Yup… Just a dollar. No free package of berries, or “present this coupon to receive a free gift.” Just a buck off. VERY anti-climactic, especially considering they spent $1.10 on postage just to get it to me.

So this got me thinking about life, and how as primary teachers we sometimes do this to our students. We know how to bring our voice down to a whisper, and get our eyes really big, and get the kids really excited for what our lesson is going to be about, and then BOOM. We give them a dollar off coupon. We share with them something that is actually quite boring which they don’t really care about. We know how to build everything up, and then disappoint the poor buggers by teaching one of our lame ass curriculum concepts that a 6 year old child could care less about. In our minds we think by manipulating them to be excited, we have loyal consumers for life, when in reality we might be creating cynical children who become critical of teachers/learning.
I think sometimes we can do children a favor by telling them the harsh reality- we are only sending them a dollar off coupon… AKA the outcome we are trying to teach actually says “Use applicable pragmatic, textual, syntactic, semantic/lexical/morphological, graphophonic, and other communication cues and conventions to construct and communicate meaning when using various forms of representing.” -Saskatchewan’s grade one ELA curriculum CC1.2c
We have to give kids credit. They are going to figure out sooner or later than NOT ALL of school is fun. Let’s be honest, there are concepts and outcomes that suck. I think the best way I can approach this in the classroom is by allowing the children to work backwards with me. Lets give them the outcome. As a class, or small group, lets work backwards to unwrap that outcome and have the students lead the learning. When they know we are not giving them a bunch of b.s., they can have autonomy in their own learning, and they can help us find fun ways to engage in those less than exciting outcomes.


Lets save the over dramatic teacher build ups for learning we are ACTUALLY excited for. Anytime we truly get excited, the lesson ends up being fun for the students as well… guaranteed. They can see our passion, and they get excited about what we are excited about. It’s a win-win. That way when we eventually tell them something good is coming, they aren’t disappointed. They’ll get their free berries, and hopefully end up being lifelong customers of real learning.

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