Time Is Relative in Teaching

alex-guillaume-769172-unsplash.jpgIn the words of the bard, we are time’s subjects. If there’s one thing to be said of time, it’s that time definitely works differently for teachers.

Sometimes, time slows down…

With half term but a few days away, you might have noticed a strange phenomenon. Time is, in fact, slowing down. Each hour-long lesson actually takes somewhere in the region of 3 or 4 hours and that commute that you could’ve sworn takes 34 minutes takes approximately 2 hours on the way in and on the way home.

You might notice that this particular pattern of time dilation occurs when you’re at your most exhausted and you’re days away from a well-deserved rest but it’s not the only way time bends its will to draw the ire of teachers… it works differently depending on the time of year.

Sometimes, time speeds up…

You’ll notice, for example, as the pressures of encroaching GCSE exams approach that time will speed up exponentially. Those hour-long lessons barely last 10 minutes. Days and weeks fly by in an absolute blur and before you know it, you and your year 11s are sobbing with happiness as they open their result envelopes.

This particular phenomenon occurs because time, in its sentience, knows that you’re running out of it, short of it or just have far too much to do at once.

Some things remain constant…

Sometimes, however, the time of year has no bearing on how time works. When you arrive home, you’ll notice that the time between 6pm and 11pm disappears in five minutes regardless of the season. Especially if you’re marking or planning. The universe gobbles up your evening and then says ‘it’s time for bed, sorry’. And that’s it. And of course, it’s suddenly 1:23am as soon as your head hits the pillow and before you’ve even fallen asleep, your 6am alarm is going off.

The same applies to weekends and holidays. The space in the middle doesn’t exist and before you’ve used your time off appropriately, it’s Sunday night and your planning needs sorting for the following week.

Such is life.

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