Tag Archives: time

The Mother of all Virtues

Patience can make or break a teacher; consider the following examples:

  • The first time a student struggles while others want to get through the assignment
  • The ever-evolving battle of classroom management
  • The realization that three years of lectures are now obsolete and need to be remade
  • The endless forms, regulations, training, seminars, webinars, assessments, observations, and reviews
  • The implementation of new technology that is routinely phased and replaced
  • The grind from tutor to adjunct to associate
Hands gripping puzzle pieces.
We’ve had one assessment, yes… but what about SECOND assessment?

Much like a nurse without crisis management skills, the realization will quickly set in that an error in career choice was made if an educator lacks patience.

Teacher writing on board with student texting in foreground.
Cell phones in class… Breathe in… Breathe out…

Teachers may not always feel patient. I know I have lost my patience during trying moments, but no other career path exemplifies the concept of patience better than education.

Time itself slows for an instructor. Where many jobs provide tasks to be completed in a week or day, educators live in a world of semesters. This is a world where careful planning is followed by laborious execution and capped off with in-depth assessment.

Sand in an hourglass.
Looks to be half past midterm.

It is fitting that the mother of all virtues is the most important trait for the mother of all other professions.

Continue to be patient, my friends.

 

Seeking Time-Turner

A time-turner, for all of you who have not read the Harry Potter book series, is a device that allows the wearer to travel back in time.

(http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Time-Turner)

As you can see it is also very fashionable. Hermione used the time turner to attend classes that occurred at the same time during her third year at Hogwarts.

If I had the chance to use a time-turner regularly, like Hermione, I would use it to research more at the community college level. Since completing my Ph. D. last semester I have missed researching classroom interactions. I find that between teaching full-time and being a new mom, I am stretch pretty thin when it comes to time.

I would love to have more time to improve our students mathematics classroom experience through research. I have colleagues in my department with NSF grants that fund their research and I am in awe of them teaching full course loads and conducting research.

This is where the time-turner would come in handy. I would teach my classes but then be able to turn back time and be in my office hard at work creating and implementing a research study of my design. I would also write journal articles that will help spread my findings to the community college and greater mathematics education community.

The benefit would be the chance to help mathematics instructors improve their teaching and in return help students in their mathematics classrooms achieve a better understanding of the concepts.

Since I will have to live without a time-turner for the foreseeable future, I plan to find some stability in my teaching load and work/life balance.

My current goal is to survive this first year as a residential faculty member with an overload and enjoy being a new mom. In the next year, I am planning to join one of the research groups that is already in my department. This will allow me to dip my toe back into the research pool. Eventually, I would like to be the one awarded an NSF grant to conduct research here at GCC.

 

Two (Very) Brief Reflections on How We Bide Our Time

Leap day came and went in a blink. So did leap month. February escaped me.

What have I learned?

I have learned that if you get sucked into your routine, you won’t actually accomplish anything. You might think you have done something, but you have nothing juicy to show for it.

When you wake up in the morning, do you immediately reach for your phone, check your email and spend 20 minutes responding to other people’s agendas? Yup, me too.

Experts recommend that you take this time to look at your own personal and professional goals and decide which action item you are going to spend time on. Plan to be creative, solve problems and be energized by that awesome feeling of accomplishment.

I passionately read in Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto, that if you want to slow time, you have to actually pause and reflect. I love this. It is so simple! Hold this moment for two extra beats to “amplify your senses.” You will begin to notice things that you never saw or felt before. Please enjoy this excerpt from p. 229:

“Do not breathe so quickly. Take in air for two beats longer.

Do not scan the room. Sense the room by gazing into each shadow and corner for two beats longer.

Do not merely glance at her. Look into her eyes and hold them for two beats longer.

Do not gulp down the next meal but savor each bite for two beats longer, let the tastes melt and linger.

Do not send the heartless note. Read it once more and spend two beats longer sensing the pain it may cause another.

Do not give a perfunctory kiss goodbye while juggling everything on the way out the door. Make the kiss count, make it firm and solid and true, holding the moment passionately for two beats longer.”

Tomorrow is March 1st. Another opportunity for new beginnings. Leap forward and try something that moves you to the next level of awesomeness!