Byron's Babbles

Teaching vs. Pouring Espresso

Posted in Education, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on August 7, 2011












I was reading Onward during a time when our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr Tony Bennett visited my classroom. He is very inspiring and has led so many great changes in Indiana Education. I shared this with him, and now I would like to share it with my blog readers. I believe you will find that this comparison of teaching to a successful business model fits right in with Dr. Bennett’s initiatives of “Putting Students First.”

Here is the excerpt adapted from Onward:

Pouring espresso (Teaching) is an art, one that requires the barista (teacher) to care about the quality of the beverage  (education). If the barista (teacher) only goes through the motions, if he or she does not care and produces an inferior espresso (student) that is too weak or too bitter (not ready to compete), then Starbucks (teaching) has lost the essence of what we set out to do 40 years ago (in 1635): inspire the human spirit. I realize this is a lofty mission for a cup of coffee (education), but this is what merchants (teachers) do. We take the ordinary – a shoe (boy), a knife (girl) – and give it (them) new life, believing that what we create has the potential to touch others’ lives because it (their lives) touched ours.

Adapted from Schultz, H. (2011). In Onward: How Starbucks fought for its life without losing its soul (p. 4). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


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