“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Recently, our school showed several screenings of Race to Nowhere and I went. For me, the movie begged all sorts of questions of how we, in education, ritually abuse time. Time is an empty vessel to be filled, and filled to the brim.
A teacher with time on their hands is labeled as a lazy teacher, and the same is becoming true of our students.
I made some comments about time in the discussion after the movie and, despite a smattering of polite applause that every comment (even a few wacky ones) received, nobody picked up the theme and I have had no further discussions about it. However, every day I hear people say that they are “time-poor”, or they “didn’t have time” to do something in more depth, or they wished they “had more time” to plan something better, or “time just ran out”. All these people with complaints about time suddenly kept their mouth shut when given a chance to talk about it openly.
This year, I organized a series of guest speakers for my students. The subject was creativity, inspiration and limitations on our creativity. Out of ten speakers, all highly talented members of our faculty, 100% of them said that they simply don’t have the time to be creative any more. I was shocked, but not surprised. Creativity is a massive “buzz word” in education – we are all being called upon to plan for, recognize, develop and celebrate creativity in our students. Yet, how can we really do that if our own ability to be creative has been shut down by “busyness”. Surely, a teacher who creates is inspirational. But, a teacher who merely talks about creativity is a bore!
So, the quote at the start of this posting is very true. However, something has happened to the value of time since those people did their wonderful things. I’m interested in finding out what we can do about that, particularly in schools.