Why is this important in the classroom? Over the past few years, there has been a shift in the best practice of teaching world language. Our more traditional, grammar-based lessons have been shoved over for language that is conversation-focused and authentic. While it sounds fabulous, overhauling curriculum takes time! Over the past 5+ years, my district has worked to change EVERYTHING we teach to focus on “Can Do” statements and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language’s (ACTFL’s) proficiency guidelines. While the work is arduous at times, we have seen results.
All of this work, of course, requires time. Whether summer work, after school meetings, or searching resources at home, this curriculum shift cannot be accomplished without time. But how does Vanderkam’s book apply to this? Vanderkam suggests creating a log for the 168 hours in the week; take a close look at how you are actually spending your time. Every person and every family situation is different, but we all have some hidden time in our schedules. Whether it is time spent venting to colleagues at work or checking e-mails and Facebook, there are hidden time sucks in every schedule. Finding these unproductive times and turning them into work-focused time can create a huge difference in what you accomplish.