What's common to a diner and a classroom?

At times a classroom's like a diner. I should know. I've been at both trying to do my part. The diner happened two decades ago. Of course, its wasn't a diner, it was a restaurant at the Taj.

Let me explain the similarities. At diners, you get three kinds of customers, the 'know it alls' that wanna teach you the menu, the ones who know a bit and need help, and the ones who totally depend on you. It easy managing the latter two, assuming that you end up helping them choose (the ones who know a bit) the right dishes, or recommending (the ones who don't know at all) the right ones. Its the 'know it alls' that get to you. You could serve them gourmet food and yet you'd get an opinion on how the dish could have been better or how the chef messed up on that critical ingredient. Never mind, the customer not knowing chalk from cheese.

In classrooms too, almost the same kinda scenario plays out. The ones who know it all and just need confirmation from you on how right they are, the ones who know a bit and need some facilitation from you, and the ones who know zilch and so they want you to teach them. Again, the latter two are fine, as long as you do that 'facilitation' or that 'teaching'. The 'know it alls' are the ones who get your goat. They can almost take a class that they want you to attend.

The difference in two scenarios is in the kind of response to the first category of users. In the diner, you gotta stoke their ego, n' accept their mastery at anything that's culinary. Helps you keep them shut and helps you take that order. In the classroom, stoking the ego not just swells the kid up, but also sets him on an illusionary path of greatness that he conjures up in his head. That's akin to crippling him. The apt response? Show him the error of his ways and pray to the gods that good sense prevails!


Unknown said…
Brilliant blog! How true!

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