Time: a rant

10 May

For whatever reason, time (or the lack thereof) seems to be a popular topic these days. From conversations with colleagues, to newspaper editorials, to blogs; everyone seems to be either bemoaning the loss of  time or giving advice on how to maximize it. “I just don’t have the time”, is a refrain we hear more and more often. It’s certainly something I find myself saying with increasing frequency.

Or maybe it’s not and it’s more like the kind of thing that happens when you go on a diet. All you seem to notice are the ads on TV for junk food, or that every other leaflet through your mailbox is for a pizza delivery place, or that you become acutely aware that there are exactly 3 donut shops on route between your home and work. You’ve counted. You know.

The truth is, all those things were there before. Nothing changed but your perception.

Which, if you’ll allow, brings me back to time. I know that there are exactly the same amount of hours in my day now as there have always been. Yet I could almost swear that there aren’t. I don’t feel as productive. I don’t feel that I accomplish as much, professionally or personally,with those hours as I did, say, five years ago. So what has changed?

I’m now a working mom. Balance is a buzz word at work. I do all I can to carve out time to spend with my son but I rarely seem to get the balance right. As a teacher, I spend more time with other people’s kids than I do my own. I am away from home every day for 9 to 12 hours. If I miss bedtime, that means at least 24hrs go by until I see him awake again. That’s assuming he’s awake when I leave the house at 6am the next morning. I once went 72 hours without seeing my own child. He sleeps eight feet away from where I lay my head. Didn’t see him awake for 72hrs. I’m not going to pretend that that doesn’t make me angry and even, dare I say it, a little resentful. Resentful because even my weekends are not my own. There is always something; reports, marking, planning, emails, updating online resources, ECAs, PD etc.. All I want to give my kid is more of my time yet  I seem to have less and less of it to offer.

Growing demands, expectations and technologies. We have so many more expectations put upon us. Five years ago I didn’t have a smart phone that kept me connected to my work and personal email 24/7. I didn’t need to check my Facebook, Twitter, sync my iPhone to my iPad or update my blog. Hell, none of these words were even part of my vocabulary 5 years ago!

At work I’m expected to be creative, constantly evolving, collaborating with colleagues, planning and executing high impact lessons for 9 different subjects every week. But I’m not given enough time to develop all these skills to their utmost during the traditional working day. So doing so takes away from my family time. BTW, the fact that “me” time hasn’t been mentioned here is not an oversight. I don’t have any.

And now that I’ve spent the better part of an hour ranting instead of marking last Friday’s Yr6 assessments, it’s about time I put myself to bed.

When the Yr6s ask me tomorrow if I’ve finished grading their tests, I’m afraid that I’m just going to have to tell them, “Sorry guys. I didn’t have the time.”


One Response to “Time: a rant”

  1. Kelli May 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Jodie, I hear you loud and clear. I just decided that I deserved a foot massage. So I took my school work and did that while “relaxing”. I couldn’t help but think, “what kind of life is this if even my 1 hr down time is taken up with school work!”
    I want to go and live in a yurt on a hillside and raise chickens and vegetables and actually get to see my family!!!

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