Reason #1,145 Why Teachers Need to Require Students to Follow Directions

Aside Posted on Updated on

I can remember a conversation with a parent about a student losing points for not following directions. Her argument was that he worked really hard. My stance was that none of that mattered if he could not follow the directions. Fast forward 4 years and I stumble across an article about the New Jersey Institute of Technology losing a $1.25M grant because someone did not follow directions. I won’t recap the entire article here. I have shared the link in case you’d like to read about it. What I will say is that there are 2 very important take-aways here:

GREAT Informational Text for Class! 

The first thing I thought when I saw an Instagram post about this article was that this is a WONDERFUL informational text for students to read and dissect. Because it is so relevant, it is only necessary for the teacher to ask, “What do you think about this?” Imagine if students were in small groups discussing the text and then they shared out their thoughts.

(For you šŸ™‚ –  I have copied and pasted the article into a PDF NJ College.)

What’s the Cost of Not Following Directions?
Apparently, it costs $1.25M when you don’t follow directions, and I propose that it costs a upward boundlot more. This may even be a fireable offense. That does not mean that the person in this instance was fired (the article does not say that, and I have no way of knowing). It just means that, I believe, if a university has been offering a college-prep program to low-income children for the past 18 years, and they are no longer able to do so because someone couldn’t double-space an application, firing seems very possible. Furthermore, costs in this situation manifest in several ways:

  1. The students who are unable to participate in this program become collateral damage.
  2. The university’s reputation could be tainted in the community.
  3. The people who work during this program also lose out.

I’m sure there are other costs associated with this faux pas, but that really is not my point. My point is that there are times when not following directions can cost you more than you are willing to give up. It is important that everyone understand the importance of following directions. While the university will appeal this decision, and this program is slated to be cut under the Trump Administration’s proposed budget, these options/outcomes are not always present. In fact, in life, not following directions can cause great heartache.

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