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Old 06-07-2019, 04:00 PM
Location: colorado springs, CO
4,980 posts, read 2,293,326 times
Reputation: 16696


I am not a teacher. My perspective is that of a student with a developmental disability who started college with a 9th grade education. Sounds sort of specific, disability related & off topic but it’s not. I’m actually an ‘expert’ in the consequences of busy work.

Math was my most difficult subject starting in the 6th grade. This could be attributed to my misperceptions of social cues & communications with a 6th grade teacher who’s intentions were questionable. As a result, I had ‘shut down’ in Math.

Later, trying to learn math was very hard for me. I hated it. However; I never considered the assignments as ‘busy work’ ... it was really hard work but not busy work.

English was my best subject starting in Kindergarten. This was due to a disability related savant capability called Hyperlexia (precocious reading). I was reading the daily newspaper at age 3, reading at the level of a HS graduate by the 2nd grade & at 16 my comprehension was tested as in the top 1% of college graduates (4 year) nationwide. Today I read at about 1,363 words per minute.

The sheer volume of written words I consumed had enabled me to be highly competent in a classroom but caused me to be highly lazy when it came to the theory & rule. Grammar & sentence structure assignments seemed irrelevant because my comprehension was innate. Those assignments came back marked up in red & that’s what I considered ‘busy work’. It felt like going backwards.

Both math & grammar were ‘hard’ & I disliked both but only one was busy work. It was the busy work, not the hard work; that contributed to my leaving school in the ninth grade, as I didn’t ‘flunk’ out ... I just tuned out & quit attending.

College classes are much shorter on busy work than HS classes & for me it was a good ratio. See, being able to knuckle down & just get through something is just as valuable as the actual knowledge is. Being able to complete busy work is just something grown ups in the working world will have to be able to do.

For me, reducing but not eliminating the busy work while having the opportunity to excel at what I had a natural ability in, was what contributed to my graduating college, despite not having graduated high school. Eliminating ALL busy work would have just allowed me to become even lazier. If it were possible to have a class in Busy Work; where the mundane didn’t contaminate any enthusiasm for learning a specific subject; that would be ideal but probably impossible.
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