• Gene Tavernetti, Ed.D.

Though the condition is highly contagious, rest assured there is a cure

“Is it tinnitus, Doc? I know it is tinnitus.”

Between WebMD and all the television ads, I was pretty sure I had nailed the diagnosis. What else could be causing this non-stop buzzing in my ears?

My doctor was thorough. He asked me about my work. I told him I worked in numerous schools and school districts.

My doctor asked me if I did any professional reading about “new” trends in education. I told him yes.

And then, in near Dr. House diagnostic insight, he asked if I had recently attended any large education conferences. I told him I had just returned from a national conference in Atlanta.

“Did you attend many breakout sessions?” my Doctor asked.


“Did you visit the Exhibit Hall and all the vendors’ booths?”

“Yes, but why are you asking about a education conference I attended?”

“I think I know what is causing that buzzing in your ears but I need to try a little test. I am going to say some words and you tell me if the buzz gets louder or stays the same. Ready?”

I shook my head.

The doctor began. “Growth mind-set . . . multiple intelligences . . . collaboration . . differentiation . . . productive struggle . . .”

With each word the buzzing in my head got worse. I put my hands over my ears. “Please stop! Please stop.” I begged.

“What you have,” the doctor said, “is a specific type of tinnitus called tinnitus bovinus excrementes educatum. It is caused by repetitive exposure to education buzzwords. It does not seem to be that common educators. For some reason, there is a high tolerance for buzzwords in education.”

“Is there a cure?”

“Fortunately the cure is simple. When you hear a buzzword, be skeptical. And, most importantly don’t repeat it. It is the repetition that causes the most damage.”

#tinnitus #buzzwords #growthmindset #collaboration #differentiation #productivestruggle

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