New Perspectives From The Second Grade Playground, # 1

Dave Katz teaching SAT test prep                                                               

Project Management:
New Perspectives From The Second Grade Playground To Make Your Job Easier.


Project management has got to be the easiest task on God’s green Earth.  Yes? No? Maybe so.  Have you not discovered this to be the truth as we all know it?

Hello everyone, I’m Dave Katz: the most obnoxious math tutor that my school districts, school principals, math departments and teachers, staff, parents and students have ever seen and met.  .  My students and their parents love me.  Some teachers hate me, and so, I know that I am during the right work for the right people.  Anyone need an A+ today?  Today’s blog is the first of seven.

Here is what happens on the second grade playground where I tutor math at the study table in the back of the classroom.  For these children, the biggest project management task of their day is NOT their widely varying studies — it is instead who gets to play tetherball and kickball and tag and hide and seek with whom.  Period.  End of story.  They are obsessed by all of this.  Why?  Because whether they know it or not, consciously or unconsciously, their popularity is at stake.  And if there is one thing that insecure second graders need and protect vociferously and ferociously, it is their popularity.  Look in the mirror, everyone.  Maybe this is you, too.

So when you hang out at a picnic table and watch the psychodynamics of it all, here is what you observe — and the same is true in your office, your work groups, your team, your district and your region:  your project management efforts turn into snit and snots, hoot and hollers, dance and prances, and scream and yells.  Take it from me, scream and yells are the worst.  You know.  You have been there.  I know.  I have been there, but not for very long, because I walk out.  Now, why in the world would I walk out, right in front of my boss and co-workers.  Because there is no compromise. There are only standards.  Who’s standards?  Perhaps yours: regarding what you know to be true about common sense.  Ah, common sense, the most missing ingredient in America today with which to get anything done.  Just look at Washington, DC. Common sense is missing in action, so…if you have any extra, you might consider becoming an entrepreneur and bottling it and selling it.  You always wanted to live on the beach, right?  Have a yacht, right?  An airplane?  Go to Paris for the weekend? or see the Queen in London and count her shoe and hat collection?  Remember, when the Queen came to see the Kentucky Derby horserace, she brought four Boeing 747’s full of stuff — mostly hats and shoes — now there is a Royal project management task!

Just as Stephen Covey wrote in his “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People“, you must begin with the end in mind.  Now, what does that mean?  Duh — it means, ‘What do you want the darn thing to look like when you are all done?’  See how simple this is?  And yet, everyone, in their own insecurity, in there own perspective, has a different, yet they think, superior idea.  Well, yes, no, maybe so.  Come back again tomorrow when we discuss vision, mission and purpose, goals, plans, pilot programs, resources and relationships. Feel free to write to me at davemathtutor @ and we can chat about all this some more. **


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top