Most people think it is ok to waste your own time, but when someone else wastes your time that is entirely a different matter.
If I want to sit and play solitaire. I am content. If my husband would like me to follow him all over the nearest menards, sometimes I get a little grouchy. My feet actually start to hurt. I become tired. But, suffer in silence, I don’t let on. Yet, the other day he mentioned that he had noticed my behavior. So much for hiding it all these years! Almost 40. But I digress…

How much time is wasted in the classroom? Many students are labeled lazy because they waste their time. Yet, I’ve watched those students when they are truly engaged and they are far from lazy. How do we engage them in what we deem important? Work sheets never kept me engaged, but I did them. I liked the papers with the A+ at the top. I was one of those students who didn’t want to do anything wrong. I’m not much for confrontation. So if I was to be kept busy, so be it. Others who would stuff the papers in their desks and pretend they were done, take a nap, they didn’t see the need for an A+ at the top of their papers. They would rather think about their passions.

If we hope to have the students respect, we must respect them. We must respect and honor their time. As a substitute teacher I am constantly asked to waste the students time with worksheets that will keep them busy. Yet, I’m not given any background other than one work sheet after another. Students will comply with resignation or not. No wonder substitute teachers are held in contempt by staff and students.

The workshop model is terrific. Students are engaged with work they are passionate about. So when a substitute comes in, they hardly notice. Depending where they are in their project, the student can decide for themself whether they are reading or writing that day. Many are sad when they must break for lunch or a special. I have seen this in action. I wish I could experience it as a substitute.

My previous blog…