Just about every teacher I know has been feeling overwhelmed recently. Come into work at 7:30 in the morning, leave at 7:30 at night with lots of tasks still not finished, laid out on the desk for the next day. The twelve hour days are killing us, but even more time than that is needed to accomplish all the things we are asked to do and/or need to do to be good teachers. Where does all the time go?
Last spring, I drew up a little concept map of what I do and how my time is spent. Bubbles are not proportional in size to time spent on them. But do notice that teaching, which should be the number one thing I do, is only one of many bubbles. [Click the picture to go to the full, zoomable map at bubbl.us.]
I realize I left some of you in suspense over the summer with regard to my teaching assignment. I did not find out what I would be teaching until returning in August, of course, so I was in suspense for part of the time too! I am still teaching both math and engineering (yay!). Though the issues discussed in that earlier post have not really been resolved, just postponed a year. Also, this fall I was asked to coordinate my school’s Academy of Engineering efforts, so those bubbles above have become more prominent in terms of where my time is going.
As a turnaround school with declining enrollment, the recruitment and marketing piece of things has also become a more vital piece of what I and others at my school are doing. We’re creating brochures, flyers, and postcards; we’re updating our website; we’re tweeting; we’re issuing press releases to try to get the word out about the great things happening at our school; we’re working to get our partners and community more involved; we’re hosting recruitment fairs and open houses; and more that I’m forgetting at the moment.
Unfortunately, all of that takes time. That’s why I and many others are still in the school building after dark every day. And that’s where my time goes.