Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System

with 4 comments

From Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, way back in 1973:

Oh, the jobs people work at!
Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch
there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher Bee-Watcher.
His job is to watch…
is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee.
A bee that is watched will work harder, you see.

Well… he watched and he watched.
But, in spite of his watch,
that bee didn’t work any harder. Not mawtch.

So then somebody said,
“Our old bee-watching man
just isn’t bee-watching as hard as he can.
He ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher!
The thing that we need
is a Bee-Watcher-Watcher!”


The Bee-Watcher-Watcher watched the Bee-Watcher.
He didn’t watch well. So another Hawtch-Hawtcher
had to come in as a Watch-Watcher-Watcher!
And today all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch
are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering-Watch,
Watch-Watching the Watcher who’s watching that bee.
You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher. You’re lucky, you see!”

And friends, I’m here to tell you, it just gets worse from there. On the very next page:

And how fortunate you’re not Professor de Breeze,
who has spent the past thirty-two years, if you please
trying to teach Irish ducks how to read Jivanese.



4 Responses

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  1. […] Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of Conte…. […]

  2. […] we are told, just left too many loopholes. More regulations and more regulators are needed. Or as Dr. Seuss would put it, “the thing we need is a bee-watcher-watcher.” Thus does government grow, […]

    • Yes! This is my favourite Dr. Seuess bundle. The bee watcher watcher meme needs to become embedded in popular speech! Thanks for providing a link that includes the illustration. You would have enjoyed a presentation in the local library for Poetry night, where patrons read a poem that has meaning for them. My contribution was listed In the program as two items. First, The Second Coming by Yeats, followed by: Reflection on the nature of work by Theodore Geisel. After reading the Yeats one I did a brief patter about why the world is going to H. in a handbasket. Among other things, too many administrators, not enough workers. “This probem was addressed by a twentieth century philosopher in the following poem.” Then, wIth a straight face, I launched into the Bee Watchers. It took about halfway before people dared to start laughing. It was one of my finest hours. Also, in my family “Irish ducks” became shorthand for “Please stop explaining, I am not taking this in.”

      Ien in the Kootenays

      July 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

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