I need to think of one superpower I would want to have in the classroom. The hardest part of this is choosing just one. In just a minute, I thought of so many:
The power to instantly read, provide feedback, and enter grades for any assignment I give.
The power to make all technology, including wi-fi, work all the time.
The power to create a master schedule that will satisfy everyone’s needs.
The power to have the attention of all of my seventh graders at the same time. (Even when I think I’m doing this, it’s really just an illusion.)
The power to eliminate standardized testing.
The power to go for hours without needing the bathroom (oh, wait, I think I already developed that power).
I could keep going, but as I said, I can only choose one for this prompt. I have decided on this:
The power to extend class time by 10 minutes, just by wishing it.
And here’s why . . .
Even in my 28th year of teaching, I still seem to run out of time at the end of class. Part of the reason is that I’ve never adjusted to teaching in 50-minute periods since moving to seventh grade several years ago. I’m used to working in much larger blocks and integrating subjects.
Another part of the problem, obviously, is that I try to fit too much in. I want to have time for read aloud, silent reading, a mini-lesson, a workshop time for students to work and me to conference with them, and a sharing or closure time . . . every day. That’s simply not possible in a short period.
Another issue is that sometimes the students lead me in a direction I had not planned on going. They bring ideas and wishes to the table, and sometimes they make more sense than what I had planned. So, that takes time, and we don’t always have enough.
It seems like adding 10 minutes would help solve my problem, but I know I would probably have to use this power multiple times in the same period to really have enough time. Of course, I have to admit there are days when 50 minutes doesn’t pass quickly enough. Fortunately, these days are few and far between.