March 13 – Every minute counts

One thing I recall doing when I stopped being a classroom teacher to become a reading specialist was no longer looking at the clock constantly. As a classroom teacher I glanced up at the clock and asked Is it time for the kids to arrive? No, I have 3 minutes. Is it time to get to a special class? Yes and unless we get lined up very quickly, we will be 2 minutes late for PE. Is it time for lunch? No, we still have 4 minutes. Enough time to play a game. Is it dismissal time? Still have 6 minutes. Enough time for another read-aloud. As a reading specialist, I did not have a classroom of kids in front of me at all times to guide and herd throughout their school day. I had to be on time for meetings and to co-teach but the minute-by-minute accountability seemed lifted. Now I am back in the classroom as a 5th grade writing teacher. Again, I find myself constantly looking at the clock or constantly setting the timer on my iPhone to help keep on schedule. Every minute counts!

I was reminded of this when reading my daughter’s blog post yesterday:
https://annedonnelly.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/today-i-was-9-minutes-late-to-class/
She is working as a native English speaker in a French elementary school in Chambery, France (which is about an hour south of Geneva, Switzerland…a very pretty part of the world). As I finished reading her blog post about the reaction of her littlest students, I felt very proud of her. Thanks to Anne, these kids now know of the favored American book character, Pete the cat and can sing his song in English!

Anne’s blog post, though, got me thinking about my time as a classroom teacher. How often am I rushing through my school day? Do I take enough time to enjoy my students? Maybe I shouldn’t glance at the clock so often. Maybe I need to take time to experience, as Anne describes it, “the pure unbridled happiness of children.”

Thanks for helping me to keep time in perspective, Anne.

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