Re: Middle School Electives on the Rise!!!!
Posted by retireder on 5/7/2021, 2:08 pm, in reply to "Middle School Electives on the Rise!!!!"
Was reading some of the responses below, and it hit home with something I was listening to earlier today. The idea of being a better salesman. |
It was in Mike Rowe's "The Way I Heard It" podcast, which I listen to as I ride the exercise machine at the gym. The story first appears as Episode 94 "The Importance of Safe Driving" and again where I heard it today in Episode 180 "Mike Rowe is a Complete Sellout".
As I heard it again today along with the discussion afterward on the podcast, it reminded me that this was something I was not great at in my career, and many times I dismissed it as irrelevent or somehow unnecessary.
Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!
The story is in part about the guy that invented the Phillips head screw and screw driver. His name is NOT Phillips. That is because while having invented and gotten a patent on it, he had zero luck trying to get any manufacturers to sign on the producing them. Their question was how were they supposed to make them. His answer was I don't know, that's your department. He had given up when he ran into a guy in a bar that was a salesman. He explained the invention, and the trouble he was having. The salesman offered to buy his patent right there for cash, which he did. He then went right back to that same company and told the president of the company that he needed someone to manufacture these things, and that GM was ready to buy six million (or something like that) of them. Well, that changed the response immediately. He then went to GM and said he had a manufacturer producing six million of these things, which would improve their cars. GM wanted to buy the patent, but he would not sell, because his next stop was Chrysler. And so on. The salesman became filthy rich, and yes, his name was Phillips. He didn't invent the thing. He didn't really even understand it. But he could sell it.
As I said, I readily admit that this was something that I did not embrace to its fullest in my career. We were really good, and that should sell itself, right? Well, it isn't enough. I was in one of the situations like the OP describes in a small school. The cry of the administration was that 30% of the student body was not involved in anything, so we needed to add more elective to get them involved in the school. We made all of the arguments, which of course were ignored, and of course we saw a drop in numbers as each of those new programs drew one of the 30%, along with five theater kids, three band kids, etc. When our numbers dropped, questions began as to what we were doing wrong.
I am still a believer in fewer options for MS kids. But I am also - belatedly - a believer that it isn't enough to invent the Phillips head screwdriver. We have to be the ones to sell it.