Luckily, some months ago, I had the opportunity to deal with the topic of deep and shallow work, recommended by our project manager Triin. The book written by Cal Newport, discusses the work method of our contemporary society.
In my opinion, the book was very interesting. I often wonder if today’s students are even capable anymore to work under “deep work” conditions. Nowadays, society is so distracted by so many technological gadgets and social media; I would even dare say they are addicted. Even I, as I didn’t grow up with all these materials, have the impression to have a responsibility to be available all the time.
Last year, we introduced a new platform named “TEAMS” at our school. This platform has different features, but one of them is the chat. I downloaded the app on my phone. On the one hand, the application is very practical, because you can answer at any time in any place. But on the other hand, sometimes, I am available for students all the time, and when I get messages at 11 pm or on Sundays when I am with my family, I can’t stop myself from responding. Even when I try to “work deep” (for instance when I correct students’ homework), I am available all the time. I know I should ban all possibilities of distraction, but the functioning of our contemporary society makes it very hard. Nevertheless I work on myself every day. So I can tell you: I know exactly how students feel while trying to “work deep”.
That is the reason why we should raise students’ awareness to this topic. I decided to integrate Cal Newport’s book into my class, to show students how they could work more efficiently. My new advice for my students this year is: “Push yourself to the limits, get out of your comfort zone, that’s where you learn!”
By Jenny Drösch from Belgium