They say time flies when you’re having fun. I’m not convinced. I think time just flies.
Here we all are again, limbering up for the exam season. Another year, counting down our lessons or days left until the examinations, trying to inject some sense of urgency into our pupils while walking the fine line between giving necessary support, keeping everyone motivated or positive yet applying enough pressure for pupils to take responsibility.
As teachers, during term time our lives are dominated by timetables and routines that are indifferently monitored by the school bell or stroke of the clock hand, mechanically reminding everyone to move on to the next thing. The build up to the exams always makes me think about time…..probably because there never seems to be enough hours in the day and that it seems to be moving at an incredible pace. It seems Earth increased its rotation.
I have noticed over the years that younger people (it’s all relative remember) have a different perspective of time. I remember having a ‘loads of time’ attitude as a teenager. Nothing ever really mattered until it really DID matter. I recall my parents and teachers saying, ‘only eight weeks from the exam!’ And me genuinely thinking ‘WOW – that’s ages!’ It never crossed my mind that the exams, whether it be GCSE or A level were a culmination of YEARS in the education system. I thought prep for exams was something that happened a couple of months beforehand. So I really try to make my pupils see the importance and relevance of every lesson – even if it’s the first of the course!
Nowadays I am stunned at the passage of time whether I’m having fun or not. They say it heals all, it can be killed, we try to save it and make it but time is a mystery to me and the differences in perception of time are even more of an enigma.
So, where does time go? One article I was recently reading indicated that our brains measure time relative to the memories we create over a certain period. The more memories made, the faster time seems to travel. I’m not sure about this theory. You would think young adults make many memories over the course of a short period of time, therefore their perception of ‘8 weeks until the exams’ would be more realistic. I read another article and it speculated that for middle aged people, day to day time is perceived as ‘normal’ whatever that means, but weeks, months and years go far too quickly. Now even though I’m not middle aged YET, I get that! Weeks just hurtle by. As do years…….16 years since the last proper eclipse! I had just completed first year of Uni. Scary.
So as the seconds tick, as each bell rings how are you actually using your precious time? Our lives and the time we get are miniscule in the grand scheme of things. We shouldn’t really be thinking about our time or even worse, the lack of it in school, but instead thinking about the time our pupils have. It is such a short period and we need to use it so effectively to teach, inspire, and help children and young adults to make the best possible use of time! It should never ever be wasted.
One of my favourite Floyd songs is ‘Time.’ Here are some lyrics……have a listen if you get chance too!
Let’s make sure that all our children hear the starting gun and know precisely when to run. Let’s ensure we are teaching them to be the pilots of their time.