Are My 8th Graders Smarter Than The Heath Brothers?

Chip and Dan Heath have written three bestsellers that teacher leaders everywhere should read and apply. My eighth Graders are giving them a run for their money. 

Chip and Dan Heath have written three bestsellers that teacher leaders everywhere should read and apply.

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die teaches that unforgettable messages follow the SUCCESs acronym. They are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories.

In Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, the Heaths use the elephant, rider, and path metaphor to help readers learn to get someone to start acting differently. In a nutshell, you direct the rational rider, motivate the emotional elephant, and clear and shape the path.  

If you’re struggling with decisions, you might try Widen your options, Reality test your assumptions, Attain distance before deciding, and Prepare to be wrong. Get it? You might WRAP the process, as the authors describe in How To Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

Along with the books, the Heath Brothers’ website has tons of free resources for each book, including reader’s guides, handouts, practice scenarios, workbooks, mp3 files, and more. Registering is easy and they rarely send an email.

But dig this: I think my 8th graders are just as smart as the Heath Brothers.

The other day I asked them what would be a good question to ask oneself while making a decision. Here are their top answers:

  • Is there a better choice?
  • Will it be worth it?
  • Is it good for me?
  • Will it take me far in life?
  • What happened last time?
  • What will be it’s future impact?
  • Does it work?
  • Is it noble?
  • How will it improve my work?
  • Will it help me or hurt me?
  • Will I learn what I should?
  • Is it good enough for me?
  • Will I do it well?
  • How will it help me or the people around me?

That’s a heck of a list. Maybe between WRAPing and executing my next big decision, I’m going make sure it’s noble and good enough for me.

I wonder how my students, whom I like very much year, will answer these two follow-up questions:

  1. How do we change things that need changing?
  2. How can you make sure I’ll never forget what you tell me?

Stay tuned…..

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