“Who has time to do that?”
Often times, this is the response I get from my audience while delivering some sort of professional development that deals with digital tools, infusing technology, or instructional strategies. It is true, many of these tools and strategies do require some work up front. That can be a daunting task to anyone who is unfamiliar with a new tool or way of doing something. Instead of thinking of it as a time consuming task, think of it as time invested in trying something that might just work better, faster, and more effectively. With this in mind, what can we do as leaders, coaches, mentors, and colleagues?
Instead of teaching and moving on, let’s present options. Make time during these training for attendees to explore the pre-made units, lessons, and examples that many of these tools have curated. Show them how to download these and tweak them to fit their specific classroom needs. In addition to this, we can also show them how these tools offer something that all teachers want more of, differentiation. By downloading and modifying a pre-made lesson, formative assessment, or unit, we have now showed them how simple it is to meet their students’ unique needs whether they be cognitive or linguistic. Why stop there? Having them get together with their teammates also gives them the ability to collaborate and truly begin to build a library of resources and lessons ready for them to use at a moment’s notice. If the 5th grade team gets together and builds one specific lesson or assessment each, they now have multiple lessons that they can build upon or modify. Instead of saying “Who has time to do that?” teachers will begin saying “How come we didn’t do this before?”
We all know that time is of the essence, especially in education. Keeping that in mind, working smart while working hard will ultimately give us more time to do a little bit more for ourselves. For you, it might be going to the gym, going home a bit earlier, or reading that book you’ve heard so much about. Try it. You and your students deserve it.