In response to the 1/5/11 post, “Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 9” a LYS teacher in West Texas writes: When I started teaching in 1994, I had no children of my own, and I gladly joined committees, sponsored groups and overnight trips, and took on other responsibilities in addition to spending as much time as I needed to contact parents, grade essays, and having everything “done.” I enjoyed it! Currently, I have two young children and a spouse who is at work 24 hours a day (at least as far as I can tell, although that may be a slight exaggeration). I no longer have extra time, and I just have to do what I can to balance the needs of my family and my students. With all of that said, I would like to share my perspective on the long hours. Overall, I do put in more hours than are required by my contract. Some weeks I put in many more hours, and some weeks just the bare minimum. The more hours I put in, the better prepared I am to maximize my classroom time and the more I enjoy teaching. When I am unable to put in the extra hours, I simply do the best I can and keep every effort focused on what benefits the kids during instruction most directly (oops, sorry about that report that was due last Friday). I support LYS especially because I cannot always put in the long hours anymore, so it is more important than ever for me to use my time efficiently. Any English teacher can tell you how effective it is to have a pair of “fresh eyes” look at your work, and that is how I view the LYS suggestions – as a fresh pair of eyes looking at how I use my time. Don’t be angry, LYS Nation. Cain’s job is to help us make the most of our efforts. I’ve been saying ever since my children were born that there isn’t enough time and I need help. See the connection? Ta da…. SC Response You are a finalist for my “Favorite Teacher of the Week” award. Thanks for the great comment and putting this entire discussion into context. As educators we work long hours and are under paid (and this is only going to get worse in the foreseeable future). To maintain our sanity, effectiveness and productivity will require the adoption of new practices, support, collaboration and the letting go of bad habits. Just like it is very difficult to find your own typos in your own written work, it is hard to self-identify your ineffective work practices. This is true for everyone. As you state, that is part of my role (and the role of LYS) on campuses. I stand in your blind spot, with no ownership in what you do, and look for ways to make you a little more effective today than you were yesterday. What is interesting to me is how many educators view this as an attack or a sign of weakness. It is an inherent weakness of our profession. One that is not as prevalent in other fields. In other fields, the greater the potential of the performer, the more is invested to coach and support that performer. This is ironic on a cosmic scale, since our (educators) job is to help students improve. Keep up the great work and make sure that you keep spreading your humor, optimism and common sense among your peers. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…Follow Sean Cain on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation

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