Friday 4ALL: The Time Conundrum

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Time. It’s what we all lack. We wish we had more of it (along with money, love, rest, etc.), but it doesn’t grow on trees. It’s not a commodity of which we can buy more. There just simply will never be enough time.

Time is the biggest reason I hear keeping teachers from trying new methods in the classroom. There’s not enough time to create new WebQuests, organize cooperative groups, or set up a wiki. A teacher’s times is occupied with deadlines, grade level expectations, behavior issues, parent phone calls…The list goes on and on. There isn’t enough…well….time to list all the things teachers have to do.

Time might be the most valuable thing educators have (or don’t have enough of). We hoard it. We covet more. There just never is enough.

For this reason, we should value the time we have and choose the instructional methods that will best meet our students’ needs. Cooperative learning, inquirybased teaching, community building, and even our own eMINTS instructional model have research that suggest these are the best ways to use the limited time we have with our students. So, why won’t we commit to using our time more wisely? When will we commit to working smarter and not harder (or smarter and harder)?

It seems the answer to our time conundrum is to make the leap from traditional forms of teaching to pedagogy that is research-based and effective. Our time can be used more wisely to achieve the effects we desire. Replacing traditional methods in order to teach non-traditional students is the best way to use our limited time with students.

Besides, we would have more time if we didn’t spend so much of it running off copies of another worksheet, writing long lectures, or dealing with the same discipline problems over and over again. It’s time to accept the research and reallocate our time toward truly effective teaching practices like those found in the eMINTS instructional model.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center and appreciates the time you spend reading Networked Teaching & Learning.