In response to the 12/6/2010 post, “Quit Wasting Time,” a teacher writes: The assumptions you hold are disturbing and incorrect. I strongly disagree with what you call “a waste of time.” Celebrations really matter to children. Spending 30 minutes twice a year for holiday parties is not a waste of time. Fun actually matters to children and should not be summarily dismissed as frivolous. Field trips are not a waste of time. Most of life occurs outside the classroom and the students I teach have few experiences outside their impoverished homes. Going places and experiencing new things outside the classroom is exactly what they need. Stimulation outside a classroom is exactly what they need. The kindergarteners I teach were not allowed to go on a harvest-themed field trip because it wasn’t “educational.” Yes, it was. They would have benefitted by seeing an actual corn plant and pumpkin patch. They need to know the parts of a plant and how they grow. They need to hear vocabulary like “crops” in an actual rural setting. My second graders didn’t know what a pine cone was until I took them to a pine tree and showed them and let them hold a pine cone and look at its parts. These students need field trips more than the upper middle class kids from other schools who all got to go on that field trip. I encourage you to reconsider what you call a waste of time. SC Response I won’t even try to argue with you on this one. I will just point out that the most valuable asset that we have is time and I have yet to meet a teacher who has told me that they have too much of it. If fact, I was talking to a large group of educators recently about the challenges that they face, and by a huge margin, the lack of time was their biggest concern. Every second that is not devoted to teaching the content has to be evaluated in terms of performance benefit and cost. If time is not an issue on your campus, you are fortunate. If time is an issue, search everywhere for it and protect it when you find it. Time hides everywhere and everyone has a valid reason for just stealing “just a few” minutes. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…Follow Sean Cain on the LYS Presentation at the National Conference on Education (2/19/2011)Attend the LYS Presentation at the TASB Winter Legal ConferenceVisit the LYS Booth at the NASSP ConferenceAttend the LYS Presentation at the Texas Middle School Association Conference