I think sometimes a clever word can make a concept popular. It seems that since the word “procrastination” is a bit fun to say that we attribute an equal sense of fun to the idea itself. In addition, it is human nature to put off until tomorrow (or until some undefined time in the future) what we know we ought to do today. However, we all have experienced the negative results of putting things off.
Our Living Histories unit is filled with small deadlines, and in the past we’ve discovered that students who put off the small deadlines do not make the big deadlines, a result that is less than desirable. Part of what this unit teaches (or tries to reinforce) is how important it is to manage time and tasks. Along with the unit deadlines themselves, there are also some individual tasks to complete (by a specific date). Part of one’s ability to fight off procrastination and actually get work done on time is looking ahead and making specific plans to get certain things done. In business this is called prioritizing.
As it is Monday morning, I asked 4th hour how their weekend was, especially in view of the warm, sunny weather. One of my students suggested that since it was so nice all weekend, that I could not really have expected her (or her peers) to do their homework.
Failure to recognize that outside influences (no matter how pretty the day, how much procrastination pulls us) are detrimental to our success is one thing that separates those who can prioritize and manage tasks from those who are still learning.
But do I blame the weather for the fact that nearly 50% of my students did not meet two individual deadlines this last week (even though I extended the deadline by one day)? I sure hate to hope for rainy weather!
Cross posted in The Polliwog Journal