No patience for impatience

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By John Pawlak

Every now and then, I read an article that totally grabs my attention, pulls me in and captures my interest, totally engages my focus and removes all distractions from …

Oh, look! A shiny object!

Uh, what was I saying? Oh yeah, something about the weather this weekend?

Attention. Concentration. Focus. We teachers chew on these words like candy, as if it’s a natural part of learning. It’s quite simple, isn’t it? As long as the students listen, they’ll learn.

And they’ll learn a lot.

Students have to learn the names of presidents, battles fought during wars, the depths and breadths of geography, civics, humanities, economics, government and social studies. They learn about antecedents, gerunds, intransitive verbs and nominal subordinate clauses.

They consume an introduction to genetics, balance chemical equations, learn Coulomb’s Law, apply Avogadro’s number, and use gravitational equations to predict trajectories. They study poetry and learn the difference between allegories, alliterations, and allusions. They learn to factor polynomials, compute rational exponential expressions and use trigonometry to calculate lengths in right triangles.

That’s a lot of learning.

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