People often ask me, “I love what you are doing, but how do you have the time to fit it in?”
My short answer is this: Providing these experiences is a high priority of mine, so I make the time.
My long answer is this:
Learning is fun.
A friend wants to give back to the community, so she spends her free time packing Blessings in a Backpack. This is her first experience spearheading such a large initiative, so she has had to learn. She makes the time.
A coworker is renovating a home for her parents and is learning something new everyday. She is no renovation expert, but she is learning. She makes the time.
My maker team buddy loves makeup and hair tutorials and thinks she might be able to share a few helpful tips on a website. She doesn’t know how, but she is learning. She makes the time.
We make the time to pursue our interests and learn new things every day. Are we inspiring our students to do the same?
These children are more than a score. My son is more than a score. I want him to have a place where he is encouraged to pursue his passions. I want our students to know that they have skills, right now, that can make a difference in this world. I want them to understand that all efforts, no matter how small they may seem, are important. I want them to understand that connections and communicating with the public are just as important, if not more important, than communicating with me. The Internet has made it possible for them to learn things that we never even dreamed of learning. I want to guide them to these resources and encourage them to learn on their own. They are not too young to impact the world around them with new skills.
In addition, my value as a teacher is greater than a set of scores. I have too much to offer as a educator, as a person, to let a test dictate how I teach or how my students learn.
I believe the same about my coworkers. I work with an amazing group of people with the best of intentions and amazing skill sets.
When you wonder how I have the time to deviate from the curriculum, I leave you with two questions:
Would you want to be a student in your own classroom?
Are you making the time to provide meaningful, relevant, and inspiring learning opportunities for your students?
If the answer is no to either of these questions, you might want to rethink how you are doing things.
Make the time.