Teaching Authentically

“We miss you.”  No, you miss my money.

“You are like family.”  No, family doesn’t charge me for things they give me.

“Sale ends today.”  And you will start another one tomorrow.

“Come into our store, we are having a New Year’s Sale.”  Same thing, you will have another sale next week.

None of these sale tactics work for me.  However, we just went into a store that totally got my attention.  There was a huge Ferris Wheel in the center of the store.  They had a cafe, a play area, a huge assortment of goods for sale at a good price, and excellent service.  They weren’t pushy, they didn’t care if you came in, rode the Ferris Wheel, got a cup of coffee and left.  But once they had you in the store, they had a chance for you to see the good prices and witness the excellent service.  This is how you entice someone to come into your store to shop.

What are other ways to get someone’s attention?  To make them want to shop in your store? To make them want to invest in or buy your product?  I believe that being authentic makes the difference to a buyer.  Just like teaching authentically makes a difference to the learner.

Asking a student to work on a project to make an ad or commercial for a store is not authentic unless the student has an authentic involvement with the product.  If your goal is to have your students write persuasive ads for a product, sit back and listen and wait for the authentic opportunity.  It will present itself.

Working on projects to create a new sport.  You will need advertising to get people to buy tickets. Designing a new type of airplane.  How do you get people to invest in it, or fly on it? 

Designing a warmer winter coat.  Don’t send me an email telling me that you miss me and I should buy the coat!  Not authentic, not interested!

And I authentically wish you a Happy New Year, and a wonderful year of teaching authentically!

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