finding the time

Somehow time really flies in schools. I was told “there’s always enough time for what’s important,” but I’m beginning to think there’s “there’s never enough time to scratch the surface.”


There’s a debate (somewhere) about whether we want to cover more ground (broad) or less but more solidly (depth). It appears that in schools, it’s often not that much content and not very in depth. There’s about four hours or real learning time in a school day, subtracting for lunch, recess and other specialists (there’s learning there).


Sometimes you want to explore a subject more deeply – but then time runs out. Math and reading/writing take an insurmountable amount of time – and they’re required for good reason, but even in those subjects, time is fleeting. With standards and test looming, it’s up to teachers to cover everything the best they can, but that can be to the detriment to real learning. Sometimes there are things that the students are on the cusp of learning, but need some real world hands on experience. Sometimes they get that – but usually at the expense of something else that would be invaluable.


So, maybe we can mix every subject at once. Math with social studies, science with art, technology with writing. But’s it’s never enough time. But that’s more down to the fate of being human. I don’t know if I’ll have time to learn five languages, live all over the world, become the world’s greatest teacher, chef, writer, husband – and someday father, and open an awesome sandwich shop. I’ll just have to make time for the important stuff. Sometimes that’s everything.

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5 thoughts on “finding the time

  1. Yeah I agree! We will have to make time for everything. That is what I keep saying to my family and drive them crazy! It is not that I execute everything flawlessly, I mess up, forget, spill a lot, drop things… get the point:) I agree with your thoughts about not having enough time to explore subjects. I worry about not being able to give enough time to students to fully understand a concept due to lack of time and flexibility. Mixing of subjects can help as long as the mix seems natural and not forced.

  2. RLT says:

    Your thoughts on mixing subjects reminds me of some of the project-based schools, where teachers cover all state standards through entire class projects carried out over the course of the whole year. Whether it’s designing a class radio show, producing an opera, or creating a school garden, each subject and standard is met in the process of building this project together. Perhaps this is a heavy focus on the “depth” side of things. I would be curious to look more into the philosophies and outcomes of this model of teaching/learning….

    • RLT says:

      And to my knowledge, these classrooms do not have a set math time, reading time, social studies time, writing time, etc. It is all morphed, mixed, molded, melded into each other.

      • Ultimately, that requires, I’m sure, a lot of planning – and to be very organized. I could see this working a lot better in a team aspect, 2 teachers could plan this together, 4 could put it together no problem (maybe) assuming they’re all on the same page.

  3. […] Recently, I have been getting a lot of comments. Part of that, is I keep the posts short, but not too short. 250 – 700 words seems good. Any less or more the post might be passed because there isn’t enough thought, or it rambles or turns into an essay. Keeping the topic short, and the idea clear and open seems to also work well. These two posts demonstrate that: A tale of two schools and finding the time. […]

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