Time's not changing, so we have to

We need to change the conversation from being about a lack of time to how we use the time we have.

Photo of Dan Blake
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A very common obstacle to professional development is a lack of time. While this is a genuine issue, the reality is we can't change the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and, and 365 days in a year (although we get a bonus day next year!)

What we can change, however, is how we use the time that we do have. What if we organized schools differently so that cohorts of students were grouped with a cohort of teachers? When a teacher from the cohort needed/wanted to participate in a PD opportunity, they wouldn't have to worry whether a competent sub (or any sub for that matter) was available. They could participate in the PD opportunity, while the other teachers from the cohort would figure out how to best use the available time with the students.

At the high school level, what if students in each cohort spent one day a week out in the community in a work-based learning opportunity? This would give the teachers in that cohort one full day a week to collaborate and participate in professional learning opportunities.

These are just a couple of possible examples. The primary point is that we need to think differently about how we structure schools to best utilize the scarce amount of time that we have.


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Photo of Moss Pike

Great post, Dan, and I agree that we can make better use of the time we have, if we can't yet create more of it. And it's also certainly true that more time isn't a fix in and of itself, if we don't know how to use time effectively in the first place. Moving forward into the "Ideate" phase, I'm curious to learn more about where we do have time. It could be quite valuable for this idea to talk to some teachers to identify when and where we have usable chunks of time to make use of in the ways you've described. Hope to learn more soon!

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