You don’t have time to learn??

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This is for all the teachers out there that have been made to feel guilty by people telling them “You don’t have time to learn?”

Dear Teacher,

If you have spent some time reading blogs and joining networks like twitter, I am sure you have read about how it is necessary to continue to develop and contribute to your PLN (personal learning network) and that by doing so you will become a superstar teacher.  There have been posts and tweets written that will make you feel that it is necessary to spend time on your computer reading other people’s ideas, and if you are really learning, you will start your own blog or start tweeting!  I am sure that you have read how people mock you for saying “but I don’t have the time to tweet or blog.”  Come on!  As they say, we all find time for the important things!  I think that we need to examine your schedule:

5:00 am wake-up
6:00 am at school
7:40 students arrive
7:40-3:00pm classes
4:00 pm  arrive home (if there are no meetings or if your kids don’t have any activities, or if you don’t have a second job)
5:30 pm let’s be a bit more realistic…this is when you arrive home
6:00 pm eat dinner
7:00 pm talk/spend time with family
8:00 pm do school work
9:00 pm plop down on couch and watch tv with wife
9:45 pm get ready for bed
10:00 pm go to sleep

Alright, first, thank you to the teacher who sent me this schedule…
Now let’s examine the morning.  You can wake up at 4:30 am, you don’t really need 8 hours of sleep.  You were only getting 7 anyway, so 6 hours won’t kill you.  You can write your blog post from 4:30-5am.  After that get on twitter and check out the links that have been tweeted and make sure you contribute some original thoughts, do that until about 5:30 am and then leave for school.  Don’t worry about showering, walking  the dog, or eating breakfast…those are for the weak.  When you arrive at school, just make-up something for the paper work on the PPTs, no one really reads it anyway, and then don’t set-up things and plan for the day, just let it spontaneously happen.  Take that extra time and work on your Linkdin connections!  Ok, so it is 7:40 am and the kids are coming in, you always wanted to make the leap to a child centered classroom—now is the time!  Let them go—project based learning is so easy.  You end up with oddles of extra time, and the class manages itself.  You should use that extra time during classes to skype with colleagues around the world to discuss how you are going to set-up a 63 class collaborative project on the historical significance of orangutans.  All right now school is over.  Yes, you want to eat lunch because you met with kids during your own 20 minute lunch period, but just have a bigger dinner instead.  Make sure you teach your own kid how to ride a bike and have them cycle home from drama rehearsal so you won’t have to pick them up.  You will then have extra time for setting up a glogster and be saving the environment.  Since it will take your kid an extra hour to get home, you will have time to also add your comments to a voice thread from Istanbul, leave comments on your favorite blogs, and read the ten links that you favorited from twitter.  Now your kid is home and you are ready to eat.  Don’t believe all that stuff you have read about home cooked meals and eating together as a family.  Repeat after me—“Frozen Pizzas.”  Put them into the oven and fling them around the house.  There are no dishes to do!  So what is it, like 7:30 pm?  Take 30 minutes and play a game with the kids…or better yet, maybe the family can sit down and all contribute to a goggle doc on what type of toppings they would like to see on the pizzas.  From 8-9 pm you really should sit down and get some grading done…wait, grades are evil and you will be destroying your kids.  Stop doing grades and blog about your transition from a teacher who gave grades, to a standards based teacher, to one who assigns flower names to final products and makes the kids find the symbolism in the flower species and uses that to grow into a kind voting citizen.  So your spouse is now calling you.  It’s 9 pm and you have a tv date.  First sign up for Netflix, a sitcom can be watched in 22 minutes without commercials, or a drama in 44.  Use the saved time to scan Netflix for a good documentary to show in class tomorrow, and set-up a coverit live blog so that you can have a back channel conversation going on during the movie.  Also, set-up a second coverit live blog so that you can back channel with your spouse while reviewing the documentary, and remember as moderator to approve all of her comments.

Ok, it is around 9:45pm and look at all the free time that you actually had to learn learn learn!  I know you might be tired, but you should stay up and take part in the live webinar about setting up wikis in your classroom, and then take part in #ededchat.  It is more intense than just #edchat, it’s double the information in half the time!  Before bed, remember to email your reflection on #ededchat to your tumblr, or did you open a posterous?  O that’s right, you didn’t have time to set one up.  Just ask your friends on your subject specific ning where people can send you the resources needed to show you how to set one up!  O that’s right, didn’t have time to join today—maybe it is because you just don’t care about growing to be a superstar 21st Century educator. What’s that? You just don’t want to be part of a community that shares your interests and will help you become a better teacher? Maybe you just don’t have the time to learn and show you what it means to be successful? Maybe you don’t care and would rather not receive helpful resources? Oh, okay. Good for you, maybe next year.

Next week’s post:
“I stayed off twitter and the computer yesterday, and here is what I did not miss:”

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