Who changed the calendar already?

I’ve been meaning to write here a few times now but each day just seems to fly by. I’m seriously thinking that I may need to talk to someone in law enforcement because I think someone stole the month of April! Is time speeding up? Is the world revolving faster? Who’s driving this thing anyway? These are all questions that flash through my mind as I begin another Monday only to come home to a Friday evening. I’ve missed my workouts for weeks now because I begin Monday morning and come home Friday. How can a guy hope to get to the gym when someone keeps stealing the week.

The weekend is no better. I’ve given up all hope that I’ll be able to sleep past 8:00 on any day of the week but on the weekend the three boys have begun a contest to see who can get up earliest and do the most damage without waking anyone else up. I go to bed only to be up 2 or 3 times putting boys back to bed after they’ve decided that: they’re thirsty and need a drink of milk from the container that was full (hence large pool of milk on floor!) They are hungry – need a peanut butter sandwich with bananas – I don’t even know how to explain this one. Thank goodness the youngest can’t get out of the crib without making enough noise to wake me up because I can only imagine – well, truthfully, I can’t imagine what he’d do. This is the kid who uses several stools to climb up to get gum from the cupboard and chews the whole pack because he knows there’s more.

I’ve been aware that this seems to be a phenomena that is occurring all over the place. People are going to work and looking up from their desk only to find the day has vanished. The begin a small task only to find that it has taken a whole day. Are there time police who can be hired to find out who’s stealing the time?

Is the internet to blame?

I’m wondering if the internet is to blame for all of this time seeming to be stolen away. I mean, since things happen in an instant, is time being reduced because it’s taking less time for things to get from here to there? Is the immediate exchange of information, money and other things creating some sort of time vortex that is sucking time into it because it’s no longer needed? Are we becoming so affected by what is going on on the net that time itself is somehow being altered? If not, why does it feel like every time I sit down at the computer, time seems to vanish and I don’t get the done work I thought I would? What’s going on here? Maybe it’s the Russians? Or the butler (if I had one, he’d have done it)?

Speed o life

Somehow, the speed at which we are conducting our lives has increased, if that is possible. We are expecting to do more and more in the same amount of time and, therefore, feeling like we are losing time. We are also spending time doing things on the net that are not even close to being productive. Like tv, reading and other forms of entertainment, we are spending more time using the net for non-work related things.

As educators, we are being asked to do more but not being given any more time to accomplish these added items. Whether it’s a new test to administer, a new program to implement, a new strategy to try or different method to adopt, educators are being asked to do more but there is no added time for this. Somehow, they are suppose to do this and what they did before in the same amount of time. This does not include the increasing amount of paper that seems to be flowing from many levels, all wanting to cross a teacher’s desk somewhere.

Finally, I’m seeing more and more books that need to be read. I believe that my reading list is now in triple digits and I don’t have a hope of reading most of them until after I retire. By that time, I’ll have figured out I don’t need to read them anyway and get to the books I should have read at the start. Books that move my spirit, refresh my soul and expand my consciousness. Believe it or not, I think I now what the problems are in education and, given the time, energy and support, I think that many of us could begin to make some headway with some of the things that are problematic. In fact, I’m beginning to think that if many of us were to trust what we know and put down some of the books, we’d find out that we really don’t need much more than the accumulated knowledge of the people that surround us right in our own buildings. Given a few tools for organization, some time to work on our goals and the feedback required to move us along, I think that much could be done to make some pretty big changes.

Huge Assumption

Of course, I’m making a huge assumption that educators have been doing some reading and are able to discuss the various things that will need to be done in order for change to begin. If not, then I guess there will need to be some development done to allow people access to this information. What if they don’t want to change but just go back to their classrooms? Well, how will that be different from now? Why does change have to include every teacher? Why can’t the change be done with those who are willing and ready? I think there are many teachers who are willing and ready but who seriously don’t have any more time to give because of all the things that have been added to their loads.

We need to get off

It is becoming more and more obvious to me that in order to bring about change, there needs to be a slowing of the pace. The rate of change may continue but, in education, there needs to be some period of learning before we move on to the next. As learners, many teachers who are technology minded don’t seem to be taking that time to see how these new technologies are going to work before they move on to the next. Unlike other areas of society, education has more to do with helping others understand than using the next new product. So we need to work with things for awhile before we adopt new change? At least we’ll be able to take time to figure out where things fit. As it is, many teachers aren’t taking that reflection time that is absolutely necessary.

April, usually a rather calm month is over. I’m panicking because the following two months are very intense and high energy and I usually count on April to give me that little rest I need in order to finish strong. With the month now 2 days from finishing, I’ve somehow missed that rest period because I was too busy to notice that I was missing it. I really don’t know how I’ll survive May and June without some sort of breakdown or something. Hold it, I already did that in April! Now what will I do?

I’m hoping that some can catch whomever is messing around with the time and, if nothing else, punish that person by slowing down time and putting them somewhere, like a middle years math class where time seems to stand still to begin with, in order to make them pay for all the stress their causing the rest of us. If nothing else, I’d like to have Wednesday back so I can at least get to the gym one day a week. Otherwise, I’m going to have to go shopping for some new clothes and everyone knows that no guy has time for that!

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9 responses

  1. It is interesting to see how many things one can squash into May and June. It’s starting to make me a little “panicky.”

  2. I empathize with the triple-digit reading list. That said, move Here Comes Everybody and Everything is Miscellaneous to the top of your list. Then, after reading those, try to justify nearly anything we currently are doing in K-12 education.

  3. I agree with you that time is moving faster, but my grandmother tells me that no matter who you are and what you’re doing, time moves faster the older you get. So, maybe it’s also just a factor of living longer? Oh, and possibly those children of yours might be making life a little hectic as well 🙂 I’ve also found that time flies when I’m doing something that I love, and I love working online – possibly you’re the same? Of course, if that’s not what you’re SUPPOSED to be doing, then it’s an issue! If I’m wrong on all of these, then I guess I’ll start looking for the butler for you………

  4. Kelly,
    I was going to blame the Canadians- but since you are one… there goes that theory. Time is only moving fast in the areas of the world that have wrapped themselves up in the importance of immediacy. I can go to Southern Costa Rica-where they just got phone landlines last year and sloooowwwww down to a trickle. It is amazing to get out of the bustle of the capital, San José and literally go into slow motion. It is hard to come back-the reverse is almost dizzying. I feel like a diver that needs to resurface slowly or risk getting the ‘bends’.Too much coming at me too quickly blows the whole point of the down time.

  5. Carl Honore is the author of “In Praise of Slowness” which touches on some of the issues you point out. But instead of adding another book to your reading list, you can watch his TED talk – http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/73 – if you can find 20 minutes to spare.

  6. “I’m hoping that some can catch whomever is messing around with the time and, if nothing else, punish that person by slowing down time and putting them somewhere, like a middle years math class where time seems to stand still to begin with.”

    ——-

    I guess I’m curious if associating a core class like math (or any class, for that matter) with punishment is a productive attitude for an administrator to adopt. Maybe the language here is figurative and nothing more but I think if I knew my administrator felt this way about the coursework he paid me to teach, it’d do bad things to my morale.

  7. Dan, you need to read get out more and quit thinking all things are aimed at you. The reference I use comes from teaching middle years math for 7 years AND from the comic Calvin and Hobbes – where, stuck in math, time stands still. If you are that sensitive, talk with Bill Watterson about the comic he drew. If not, then quit looking for a quarrel with everyone.

    As for knowing about your administrator and his/her feelings, I seriously doubt, from how you go on about things, if you even care about anyone else’s feelings given you are “the chosen one”. Just stay away and we’ll all be better for it.

  8. You taught math?! That’s cool, me too!

  9. Yep Dan, I’ve taught math, social, science, ELA, health, phys ed, religion, art and career guidance at the grade 7 level, grade 9 social and ELA, grade 8 social and ElA, grade 5 and 6 math, Communication Production Technology grades 10 & 11, computers grades 8 & 9 and phys ed to grades 8 & 9. Some of these I did while running two school campuses, getting a Master’s degree, having a family and coaching almost every sport in school. The big thing is I am always learning, I don’t know everything and I’m very aware of how my staff sees what I do, how I do it and when I take action. Btw, congrats on your award.

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