Time waits for no (wo)man

Time!  These days I am doing a lot of grumbling about not enough time, wasted time, quality time, wait time, supper time, and not enough bed time.  In the classroom, I see teachers being very mindful of timetables for learning standards, time until recess, lunch, or a specialist, and most of all the time their students need to really learn.  At the same time teachers are really struggling with lack of time and are understandably upset when more standards are expected to be learned by younger and younger children often using new curriculum their experience has taught them will not be successful.  As a parent, when I send my children off to school, it seems like they are there for a LONG time – and I am hoping that as well as learning and as part of their learning, they are having enough recess time, time to actually eat their lunch, time for their day to be enriched by the arts, and lots of time engaged by all that their teacher has to offer.  Well, now that I am actually spending entire days in the classroom, I see that there is not enough time for all of that in the school day, even though the teachers want the same things for their students as the parents do.  So, how do we prioritize?  As a mom, my children are the priority, but as a mom in school and soon to be working, I am also attempting to relinquish my old priorities as a stay-at-home mom (which my family has become very accustomed to) and reshape those priorities into new ones of teaching self-sufficiency to my family and giving myself more time to be successful in a new way.  For teachers, children are also the priority, particularly children’s learning.  I witness teachers reprioritizing what is most important for children to learn every day.  Many days all that was planned does not happen, because in the moment the teacher sees the students need more time with their learning or maybe they just really need “choice time” that day because the learning’s been more of a challenge than expected.  After the students leave though, teachers who were so patient and generous with their students minutes before, are voicing their worry about being behind for whatever point in the school year it is.  How do we keep the “wait time” it takes for learning to turn it into knowledge a priority in a world with a race to the top where runners are not allowed to go at their own pace or even to stay behind for awhile and take in the view?

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2 thoughts on “Time waits for no (wo)man

  1. Thanks for sharing your view of education and time management as a mother and then as an educator. One thing that I really keyed into was your statement “For teachers, children are also the priority.” Hopefully people that love and value children go into education and do care so much! One other thing that I have been thinking about is this fear and worry that so permeates teachers experiences. Constant worry that you’re students aren’t achieving, that you aren’t doing everything in your power to help them achieve, there isn’t enough time or resources, there isn’t support from home. I feel ridiculous even writing this: what if we choose not to worry and channel that energy elsewhere? Would it work? hmm…

  2. This topic of time is one of my biggest worries too! I am usually pretty good at managing my own personal time, however, all of our students will learn at different speeds and some will be ready to move on to the next lesson, while others will need you to spend more time on the current one. I am not even an actual teacher yet and I am constantly worrying about all of the things you listed whencommasmeetdrama, like what if students aren’t achieving, what if I’m not doing everything in my power to help them achieve, what if there isn’t enough time or resources, or support from home. This year, I have come to realize that worrying simply wont change anything or help anyone. It will only hurt ourselves and cause stress. However, spending time getting to know your students and their learning styles, spending time debriefing after the school day has ended, and spending time planning and improving your teaching is what will help everyone! Also, something I have noticed my CT does that I personally like, is she lets her students know of all the things she has the teach them during the school year (by putting up EALRS or Common Core standards around the room) and explains to the students that there is no time to waste. That way, everyone is aware that there are responsibilities and there are learning goals that need to be met!

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