Work-Life Balance

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Tom Glocer, CEO of Reuters, offers an interesting light comment about how he views work-life balance. In short, he thinks electronic communications technologies make the balance easier.

Moreover, to insist on a rigid work-life balance always suggests to me that work is some awful Anglo-Saxon torture visited upon the otherwise “free” soul of Rousseau’s natural man. I recognize, of course, that throughout my working life I have been fortunate to work in safe, relatively high-paying white collar jobs that provide intellectual challenge, but my point is that it is precisely in these environments that we hear most about “work-life balance.” One need not be a Calvinist to believe that useful work can also contribute to a life well-lived.

I find his blog refreshing. He captured my sentiments, including as an educator as well as a business person. I found it harder, though, to justify my teaching and administration’s contribution to a life well-lived than as a business person. That’s curious. I’m guessing it has to do with not accepting the use in schools of Rousseau’s natural man philosophy as completely as the reality of global business competition. I prefer decisive schools over others.

Hmm. I wonder how many teachers share my caution about Rousseau’s philosophy dominating so much thinking about U.S. public schools?

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.