Teachers and the 80/20 rule: attending to the wrong clients?

In business, the 80/20 rule states that 20% or your clients will expend the resources it takes to support the other 80%.

In other words, 20% of your clients will be needy, while the other 80% will be on autopilot.

With teaching, one would be thrilled to have 80% on autopilot.

Imagine if!

Teachers 20/80 Rule

But teachers might consider that the way they distribute their attention is actually in the inverse of this rule, with only 20% of students on autopilot while the other 80% are needy. And it’s my guess that most teachers, regardless of the needs of the 80, give their attention to the 20% who don’t need it.

The 20% needy are either asking for attention or by some metric, calling out for it.

Turning the 20 into 80

When we work with students in the A+ Club who want to perform better academically, a primary goal is to guide them towards self-advocacy, which brings them into the 20% for teacher attention. That’s awesome.

Yet, we worry that teachers have another 80% of students who do not self-advocate, who do not seek help or draw attention to themselves.

So teachers, ask yourself this: are you really aware of what your clients — I mean, students– need? Are you putting out the fires or over-watering the 20%, while your 80% goes unattended?

Just a thought.

Please apply the math.

– Michael