Hot take: Watching a football game on TV is objectively better than being there in person.
- You can actually see the players. And I mean REALLY see them. Up close, in slow motion, down the line, from above, with annotations.
- Someone is talking you through every play, every backstory, and keeping track of the stats for you.
- You can pause the game if you have to run to the bathroom, which is always clean and never busy.
- There is no food or drink available at the game that you can’t make at home.
- Temperature, precipitation, and humidity are an issue for the players, not you.
- Cost: not even a close comparison. I can buy the entire season of games and food/drinks for every single one of them for about the cost of two tickets, parking, a couple drinks and snacks, and any other costs of being there.
Okay, so why are you so mad at me for writing this (and why do I personally disagree with my first statement)? Because what you’re undoubtedly yelling at the screen right now is, “It’s about the experience, you moron,” and frankly, I deserve it. And here’s where I’ll digress from the sports and head to education.
When we plan a lesson as a teacher, build out a master schedule as a school leader, or adopt a new program as a district leader, we tend to fall back on what is the “objectively best decision” at each fork in the road. While it might seem there’s nothing wrong with that plan, it ignores the fact that what we are doing in schools around the world isn’t just making decisions, but designing education experiences. And it’s this education experience design, or EDU/X– often neglected- that defines how our students, educators, and staff feel about their time in our care.
Before you close the books on the most recent decision you made in whatever chair you sit in, take a moment to reflect on how the current stakeholders education experience will be impacted. Not a simple, “they’ll like this because it’s fun, it helps solve X problem, etc”, but truly take stock on their current state and how you envision this decision playing out. As you’re thinking through the experience, consider your lowest and highest performing teachers or students. While it’s tempting to cover the most folks by considering the middle, it’s our folks around the edges that truly shape our impact.
And you enjoy that next game from the couch, I’ll be in the stands soaking in the experience.