Thinking deeply and carefully is a virtue. Taking too long to do something hampers you.
Classroom teaching is a peculiar job. It is a difficult, people based task. Just getting students to do stuff can be difficult enough in some schools.
But I’m not talking about those schools.
I’m talking instead about manageable jobs in schools where making the students think is the minimum aspiration. Enthusiasm is a minimum requirement. Schools where there is an ongoing battle for hearts and minds are not uncommon. Teachers in those roles deserve plaudits.
Yet in those roles, the mundanity of administration can drain a spirit. The spirit of unfettered accountability and the paucity of shared? spiritual vision can nullify a mind of ambition.
Yet there are very many roles that require time management. Teaching has no monopoly on excessive demands. There are particular characteristics in classroom teaching that are disheartening: hours of marking work that is pedagogically interesting, but perhaps intellectually tedious.
On top of all of this is the particular nature of the English teacher.
If an English teacher isn’t a thinker, a reader, or writer, then what kind of teacher are they? A dispenser of tasks? A passer of exams?
Am English teacher can be whatever they want to be. It is up to each person to choose the limits to their roles in life, and how much ‘give a damn’ factor they should allocate to each of the roles they choose in life. Of course, life can often choose how much you need to give a damn about things: it takes a remarkable amount of wisdom and privilege and luck to have the wherewithal to choose how to allocate care. In many cases, perhaps for most of the West, it is the powers of marketing that choose what you really care about.
For me, making doesn’t mean compromising my teaching. My teaching is about ideas and concepts, and inspiring curiosity in those in my care. Doing a bunch of tasks is base. Getting students to do a bunch of tasks is common. Saving time and planning sensibly is the ambition.
Part of this is to plan pomodoro style. If corners are to be cut, this is a way of compelling the cut.
Of course, having more time to think is a more preferable situation! But what is all this if not becoming more aware on what best to compromise?