…you just need to decide.” — Seth Godin
I've asked 11,683 people who subscribe to the newsletter a simple question: What's the most frustrating thing about your job?
In these responses, the word “time” appears 2,437 times. Here are some examples:
- Not enough time and too many expectations placed on teachers that are not in their control.
- No planning time, not enough time in the day to get all of the “requirements” we need to get done in the day. O yea and still teach 🙂
- The most frustrating thing about my job is that I feel as though I don't have enough time to give students the individual attention they need plus grade assignments in a timely manner plus plan great lessons for each day plus have a fulfilling personal life. The biggest issue for me is time management. Thanks.
- Finding the time to plan, teach, assess, and reflect. Also, I am organizationally challenged.
- Lack of in-service time for all of the initiatives and changes (technological, curricular) that we encounter year to year.
- Not having enough time to get everything done. Looking for ways to be more efficient.
In my last post, I shared some beliefs about grading. Looked at through the lens of the time pressure we all feel, you could summarize that post like this: I've decided not to worry about grading because I've decided to focus on literacy, thinking, and character work instead.
If you're the kind of teacher who's reading this blog, you're probably shouldering far more “oughts” than you ought to. So what you really ought to do is decide, as the professional you are, what you're going to really work on for the rest of this school year. All the rest of the stuff gets satisficed, intentionally neglected, or skipped altogether.
Is there any sane alternative?
Thank you to Seth Godin, who, in a ten-word blog post greatly clarified my struggles with time management.