Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Perspective Matters

Teaching school has a treadmill quality to it--it's fast-paced, steady, time-on-task oriented.  As you teach, your mind fills with so many possibilities.  You know what you can do to effect change and help students, but sometimes, due to the treadmill schedule, you just don't have the time to make it happen.

This week, due to storm related power outages, we had two days off from school.  I had the chance to correct math tests, catch up on book group prep, respond to twenty-two poetry projects and twenty-two reading letters.  I also had the chance to prep upcoming math units, social studies projects and other curriculum events.  Most importantly, I had time to sit back and think about each student and the overall program.  I gained perspective.

It shouldn't have to take an October snow storm to catch up on so much work, and it shouldn't be that the weekends, early morning hours and late night hours are spent on so much important school work. Yes, I expect to spend some afterwork hours on school related tasks.  After all, most professionals today work beyond the eight-hour day, but excessive hours take its toll on health, energy and perspective.

I believe that prioritizing, thoughtful staffing, and creative scheduling can better respond to educators' needs to prep, plan and respond to student efforts and the overall educational program.  Perspective matters and moving away from the treadmill schedules in schools will foster healthy, positive and productive perspective.  Do you agree?