Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do we have enough time...?

Tick tock goes the clock. Tick tock and the school day is gone. Tick tock and the decision is made and we are moving on. Tick tock and the opportunity is lost. Tick tock and we had our chance to leave an ever-lasting impact...

Time is something we can't ignore. Time is something we can't get more of. Time is the enemy we all must endure. Time can never be defeated, and how you use it makes all the difference...
Regardless of our capacity in a school or a district, time is constantly on our minds and in our sights. Time is the one thing that is for certain. We all have 24 hours in a day, and we all only get 60 minutes per hour. Deciding how we use our time is perhaps the most important decision we make on a daily basis...

- Will you spend the extra time it takes to speak with a child to find out why he/she has been struggling lately? (what will your other students be doing at this time...)

- Will you take the long way just so you can say "thank you" to that colleague who really helped you out by going the extra mile? (will you need to get up earlier than usual for this to happen...)

- Will you read the page/blog post/article that was given to you by a colleague who felt it was relevant to what you are doing? (will you still have ample time to prepare for this week's classes...)

- Will you notify the parent of a student who has shown great improvement recently? (how do you decide which parents to call and which parents not to call...)

- Will you complete all the necessary paperwork/documentation that is being requested of you? (which of your other duties will receive less time while you complete these tasks...)

- Will you put the needs and requests of others before yours? (how will you decide which requests to fulfill and which needs of yours to ignore...)

As educators we all lead busy lives and we all have more on our plates than ever before. As our responsibilities and expectations increase, the only thing that remains constant is the amount of time we have. This post is not meant to be a pity party for educators, but rather a reminder that the choices we make every day on how we utilize our time have an impact much longer than we might realize.

Every time we make the decision on what to do or which task to complete first, we are making a decision that involves time. Guard your time and prioritize your time. Focus your time on what must be done to effect the greatest good, and never take your time for granted. Most importantly, recognize that when you decide how to use your time, you are also deciding what you don't have time for.

How do you prioritize your time? How do you decide what you don't have time for? Are you willing to accept that in order for you to fully devote yourself to a set of tasks, you must also be willing to sacrifice those tasks you don't have time for...?

Do we have enough time...?