Jerry Seinfeld works on his material, practices it, performs it, perfects it and then uses it. Over and over. He has said that every year he throws out only 20% of his previous year’s material and builds on the 80%.
George Carlin was known for building towards an HBO special, filming it, and then never performing one of those jokes again. The minute the special was over, he started working on the next one.
So, who has grasped the nature of innovation? Who would you pay to see? Who is better? More effective?
What does this mean for teachers. Is it prudent to keep 80% and hone it, tweak it until perfection and building only 20% from scratch or should we build the structure one year, toss it out when we’ve got a new group of students in front of us? If we recycle lessons that have worked in the past, are we diminishing the opportunities for our students?
Some interesting conversations happened today around the nature of accepting what has been done in the past and tweaking it and honing it or should we start from scratch, recognize the revolution and build anew and I’m not sure where I fall. Generally, my classes don’t look the same from year to year, but I do recycle elements, good or bad? Is that the balancing between the ideal and the practical?
I realize this post is a series of contradicting questions, but this is what is rolling through my head today.
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