Friday, September 21, 2012

The Time Factor: Helping Educators Find the Time They Need

Implementing anything new in the classroom can be tricky.  One of the first concerns I hear from an educator is "I don't have the time".  Educators are pushed to (and often past) their limits and the thought of adding yet one more thing is simply overwhelming to many.  This is completely understandable, and those of us who support and/or lead educators should always be aware of this time factor and be prepared to alleviate it in any way we can.  Here's what I have done to help the educators I work with.  Note: this does not apply to only my iPad educators, it applies to ALL of my educators.

Duties - In my school educators have supervisory duties outside of their classroom.  I have offered to cover duties for people if they would like to take that time to record for a flip lesson, make examples for students or they need time to experiment with an app.  I can stand and supervise recess or lunch just as well as the next guy.

Digital copies - Our copy machines can also turn a paper copy into a pdf file and can email it to you.  These copies are distributed to students via our digital classroom or are incorporated into apps such as DocAS or Explain Everything.  I'm pretty good at pressing buttons, so I have offered to take any paper document(s) educators want in pdf format and run the copy machine for them.  (this doesn't take long and it seems to relieve a lot of pressure on educators)

Subbing - Just like covering duties I have offered to sub for classes for subjects I am comfortable with.  I have also offered to proctor tests, cover advisories and study halls if necessary.  This gives the educator a longer period of time to work on a video or example.  They are even allowed to use my desk if they need a space to work.  (I'm messy so they would have to clean my desk first!)

I have noticed that every time I offer this service, teachers are taken aback.  I get responses like "Really!  You would do that?!".  I wonder if it's not the offer more than the act that they appreciate and need to hear.  I know educators are extremely busy people (I used to be a classroom teacher) and it's the responsibility of those of us who aren't in the classroom regularly to help the educators achieve the schools mission and in the grand scheme of things, the above examples don't actually take that much time.  I encourage any and all support staff and administrators to consider taking similar small steps to help their educators reach their potential.

Here's my question to you (yes, you....the reader).  If you are a classroom educator, how could administration help you find the time to work on a modern classroom environment?  If you are an administrator, what else could I do?  Please feel free to reply via comment or via an email to

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