Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Final Countdown

Note: Lacrosse season has taken over the last available minutes in an already busy life to write, hence the lack of content over the past few months.  This topic has been on my mind long enough to warrant a brief post.

It's a minute in time

that we exist
We slowly make our way
into the mist

From "Show of Life" by Trey Anastasio

As surely as winter turns to spring, the countdown clock until the end of the school year will appear on numerous whiteboards in classrooms around the country once the calendar turns to May (unless you live in New Jersey, where school goes until the end of June).

Like a prisoner who tallies days in hashmarks on a cellblock wall, the countdown clock is changed daily with fervent zeal, as everyone moves that much closer to liberation and freedom from the confines of school and the expectation of learning.

If you engage in this practice, what messages are you sending to your students (and colleagues) about the value you place on learning and the time spent in your class?

In an era where continuous learners will be at an advantage in our global, interconnected economy; does a countdown clock reinforce the types of learner behaviors that will be beneficial to students?