Thursday, May 30, 2013

2 Minutes: The Third Chapter

Before I dive into the third chapter of My Future Book That Doesn't Have a Title, I must remind my readers that someday I plan to write a book. I'm obviously making great progress because I don't have a title and I'm only on the third chapter. I can imagine that publishers are just waiting around the block for me! (insert extreme sarcasm here). Oh well, writing is fun and sharing my downfalls and learning experiences is fun for me. Maybe this is why I love teaching writing so much? It doesn't have to be some elaborate process. Instead, writing can be relaxed and enjoyable all the time. Okay, hopping off my soapbox.

Chapter 3: 2 Minutes

"What color is your desk, Ms. Furnell?" -student
Before I started teaching, I had this fantastic book of teacher checklists. One of the checklists included what to do if you had 10 minutes of spare time, 5 minutes of spare time, 2 minutes of spare time, etc. I thourougly read the chapter and thought, "Wow! I can really accomplish a lot in just a few minutes." I made a mental note to save that for my future when I had my own classroom. 

Fast forward to the present. I currently have my own classroom and I have yet to open that book or reference that checklist again. I preface this next part by saying, I sincerely hope that I am not the only one who is guilty of this. Every day, I have a 45 minute plan time and somehow, on some days that end in "y", (okay, I'm exaggerating) those 45 minutes slip away from me oh-so-easily. Perhaps during that said plan time, I could be grading papers? planning for the next week? researching new teaching practices? making copies? planning lessons to engage all of my learners? There are literally thousands of productive things I could be doing. 

As I'm watching the clock, I think... oh! I've got plenty of time to do this and that. But then, you realize that there are 2 minutes left of plan time and you have yet to accomplish anything productive. So what do you do? Well, folks - you get everything done on your to do list in 2 minutes. Here's a real life scenario that probably would never be published in an actual book because it's a terrible example. Recently, I tried go to the bathroom, make copies on a slow copy machine, dig materials out of a storage closet, oh, AND pick my kids up from specials. Is this the best way to use your plan time? No. Because you would have seen me running down the hallway at (not) lightning pace. I'm sure several of my coworkers have seen me running and considered sending me to the office. 

I wouldn't necessarily say this is good advice to follow, instead we'll catalog this chapter under the "What Not to Do" file. Let's face it folks, we can get lured away from that stack of papers easily - are there snacks in the teacher's lounge? Yes. See? You're already distracted!


  1. Haha! I totally identify with you. How is my plan time the fastest time in the day? After going to the bathroom, my goal is usually to get one thing on my list started, knowing I won't finish it. BTW, your stacks aren't bad. If it makes you feel better, mine are usually leaning towers.


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  3. The same thing happens to be everyday and what's worse is that if I will often go looking for a distraction if nothing pops up! I make myself feel better by saying, "It's okay. This time is mostly for you to decompress, not accomplish anything." Ha! I bet my life would be much less stressful if I actually got some planning done during my planning period. :)

    The Teaching Thief

  4. P.S. I've been gone awhile, but I just want to say I'm loving your new blog design. Yeah...Superman!!


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