Thursday, May 28, 2009

Valuable Time

Well, school is just about over in my neck of the woods. Time flies when you’re having fun, huh? It does just seem like the school year started, and now we are facing a long, hot summer.

Teachers are finishing up their grades and getting ready to enter into that wonderful season of post-planning bliss….a flurry of activity as teachers hurriedly move their classrooms from one side of the building to the other, book inventories are taken, test scores are filed, permanent records are checked off, and class rolls are set for the coming year.

It’s also a time to assess things…many, many things.

Were teaching goals met?

What was a success?

What was a failure?

Where could things have done differently?

How are you going to incorporate any changes into your lessons based on local, state, or national changes that inevitably are made regarding what you do?

The summer is short. Our time is valuable. Making the most of the next eight weeks could make or break the new school year already looming before us.

The situation reminds me of an often told story from the life of Ben Franklin….a story I use with my students from time to time to remind them how valuable their time is. How easy it is to take our eyes off our goals….how easy it is to lose focus.

Here’s the story:

One morning Ben Franklin was preparing his newspaper for printing when a customer stopped by in his store and spent an hour browsing the various books for sale. Finally, he took one in his hand and asked the shop assistant the cost.
The assistant answered, “One dollar.”

The customer said, “A dollar. Can’t you sell it for less?”

“No, the price is a dollar,” replied the assistant.

The customer said he wanted to see Mr. Franklin. When Ben appeared from the back room, the customer asked how much he wanted for the book.

Franklin said, “One dollar and a quarter.”

The customer was taken aback. “Your assistant asked for only a dollar.”

Franklin said, “If you had bought it from him, I could sell it to you for a dollar. But you have taken me away from the business I was engaged in.”

The customer pressed on, “Come on, Mr. Franklin, what is the lowest price you’ll take for it?”

Franklin said, “One dollar and a half. And the longer we discuss it, the more of my time you are taking up and more I have to charge you.”

Ben sets a good example for us, doesn't he?

Oh sure, I understand. The summer has started. We all deserve some time off, but we have important business to be about even if it is done while sitting by the pool or just merely enjoying getting reacquainted with our homes.

Make a plan, set your goals, and take Mr. Franklin’s advice.

Your time is very, very valuable.


Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Thanks for this amusing--and instructive--story. Time is valuable, because there's so little of it.

Dan Edwards said...

I try to run off any papers I need for the first two weeks of the next school season before I leave school for the summer..... It usually makes a difference.

Have a Great, Relaxing Summer !

EHT said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving comments. I love them!

Polski3, that's a very good idea. I also keep unused copies throughout the year with each unit of study, so that I have them when I teach the unit again.

My unit boxes/containers are full of activities, study guides, etc. that I copied the previous year and either copied too many or elected not to use that particular item.

Mister Teacher said...

I always knew Ben Franklin was a money-grubbing bastard.


EHT said...

Yep.....and he always took time to love the ladies as well. :)