Yes, it certainly does! However, there’s more to success than just showing up.

The original quote – “80% of success is showing up” – is attributed to Woody Allen, and, by most standards, it is true. If you are not present in the game, room, meeting, classroom, or whatever environment (virtual or actual) you conjure, then you cannot be successful. However, once literally present, success remains an elusive butterfly if you are not mindfully engaged – the other 20% requirement.

As a lifelong educator of children, adolescents, and young and older adults, I can attest to the absolute need for the lagging 20% to be in play for success to be achieved (at any level of measurement). Showing up is simply not enough.

In a provocative article in Education Week’s Teacher edition (June 3, 2015) titled Rethinking Learning Time by Teaching Students to be in School, teacher Jessica Rosenthal addresses the challenges of school readiness and success at the onset ages of formal education cycles in the United States. Jessica offers some insightful commentary on why our many educational reform efforts may not be working as we hoped, especially in the early stages of formal schooling, as a result of not offering options on when a student should enter formal education. She posits that not every child is ready for school by the age of five. I can say from experience, this is a sound belief.

As a result of her participation in a series of webinars and online meetings with teachers in other states and countries, Jessica found that we (the collective we) are accepting school readiness based on age vs. maturity; a tradition that sorely needs to be revisited if we are going to ensure that “no child is left behind.” As a result, a great deal of extremely important learning time is diluted by the need to help young students understand the game of school. This time, sadly, cannot be made up in the next grade as is the common belief.

I leave you to draw your own conclusions from Jessica’s thoughts. I also offer a look into the Center for Teaching Quality’s Toolkit for More and Better Learning Time. It’s worth the time for a read through.

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