I have ten minutes to write this. I have more than ten minutes of thoughts. Good thing I drafted it in the shower while brushing teeth and brewing coffee and feeding dog and looking fabulous. Sure. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
This was inspired by a Facebook post by Happy Rainbow, about wishing those of us who may have had Columbus Day off yesterday a good one. When I was a little girl, our schools in Texas took Columbus Day off, but haven’t enjoyed that holiday in years. I say ‘enjoy’ lightly. Columbus Day, and the adventures of Signore Columbus are fraught with all the pain, disease, cruelty, and general foundations for xenophobia that anyone can discuss. This is not about Columbus, or his exploits. This is a sticky-note of a thought: I would love more time, and I want more school. I know – this seems contradictory.
These are just wishes, and may never materialize, but maybe. I know in my sons’ school district, they decided to go every Friday as early release, and the teachers use this time for planning, professional development, etc. Students like my older son who are in their senor years, and have so much to do it makes me ashamed every time I feel overwhelmed, and others like my younger son who are desperately trying to stay organized, but who are so intelligent and creative, need time to explore the world. My younger son is happiest doing actual science and thinking about the world than siting in a classroom taking notes. Go figure. But my school district is still wrangling over time teachers are allowed to use for planning versus the district’s directions and mandates, and let me tell you, the whole thing has an undercoating of fear.
I do wish we would take a serious look at how kids spend their time, and how teachers meet and collaborate. This feeling of being pulled without effect or growth leads to exhaustion, and it’s not just me: http://theeducatorsroom.com/2012/09/the-exhaustion-of-the-american-teacher/
I want time for mini-sabbaticals. I want time to plan and create amazing lessons. Everything being done by the seat-of-my-pants is feeling a little…scabby. The gift of a schedule breather would be welcome to me. Now it comes in big swaths of time, and I think we end up doing so much review, that the continuity of learning never gets reached. Most importantly, I want my students to get the best from me, so I can truly help and guide them.
I don’t know – I do have more to say, but the clock tells me it’s time to go, take kids to their zero-hour events, and my crack-of-dawn meeting, where I am going to have to shut down conversation in order to get anything done.