In the world of finance, “time is money,” but in the world of teaching, time is a child’s learning opportunity. Do the math and count the minutes, and you quickly realize “teaching” has become a secondary job for most educators. Every day, teachers somehow have to manage completing more tasks than there is time for.
My first year in the classroom, a professor told me, “It will only take five minutes.” In my head I’m thinking, “FIVE MINUTES is so much time.” Over the course of the school year, five minutes a day added up to about fifteen hours. Fifteen hours of lost instruction. For what? Taking attendance, updating data walls, sending emails, talking to parents, counting behavior goal paperclips, the list goes on.
I’m not saying these things don’t need to get done. There just had to be a better way to do things. School leaders need to think of a teacher’s time as precious sand slipping away, which could have been better used to maximize student instruction. And then before you know it, it’s state testing time and anything that I had planned for goes right out of the window.
There has to be better ways of streamlining things in schools and in particular, classrooms. Technology is an amazing resource, but too many times it doesn’t live up to the hype, making things harder instead of easier. When your gradebook doesn’t talk to your attendance or when you have to use a proxy to work around the district firewall, you’ve probably spent collectively more time watching the spinning wheel of death than actually teaching.
By: Liz Engellenner
Curriculum Specialist @ Kiddom
Former SPED Teacher