|The word of the week: Procrastination|
|Written by Amanda Curry, Columnist|
|Sunday, 02 October 2011 19:26|
Each week the students at my school have a list of roots to study for an etymology lesson. This week’s root is “pro-” and one of the required vocabulary words is procrastinate. Hilarious, right?
Let me explain. I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit at the fact that they had to “learn” what the word procrastinate means.
After all, those of us who have made it to ISU certainly could tell someone all about the meaning of that word, and high school students aren’t foreign to the concept of procrastination either.
Procrastination is something that we are all familiar with because we all do it from time to time, or all the time. Whatever. We also learn that it is impossible to push away the results of procrastination, so the meaning of the word stays cemented in our minds forever.
I’ll be honest, I’m quite the procrastinator. I feel that I work best under a deadline (maybe that’s why I love the Vidette so much) and usually wait until the last minute to complete things just because I know I’ll get it done. Well, this used to be the case, at least.
Once student teaching began, the word procrastinate was swiftly erased from my vocabulary. Gone were the days of late night movie marathons instead of homework. Now I come home each night and immediately start preparing for the next day.
Why? I have come to believe it is impossible to teach effectively if you procrastinate.
Procrastination often equals disorganization and being unorganized is detrimental to a teaching career. Disorganization means that a teacher doesn’t know what she is doing in class each day, who needs to make up quizzes, where students should be sitting in the classroom — the works.
If a teacher cannot master these basic steps, her classroom is going to be a place of chaos, and nothing is going to be easy.
So what if you don’t have the following day planned and like to fly by the seat of your pants? Everything will be fine, right? Wrong.
Have you ever stood in the line for the copier at 6:45 on a Friday morning?
I did it last week and let’s just say I had to find another option for getting the information that was supposed to be copied to my students because everyone in the department had copies to make and there just wasn’t time. Lesson learned.
But those aren’t the only problems. Procrastinating might be acceptable when you are the student and should be responsible for information but don’t have to be, but when you are a teacher, you’ve got to know what you are talking about.
This is the most influential factor in my shifting towards a life that is procrastination-free.
All of the courses I am teaching are literature based. I’m teaching seven books this semester, and five of them I had never read until this summer when I found out I would have to teach them.
It’s a lot of information that I have to familiarize myself with. If I waited until the last minute to read these books, I wouldn’t adequately understand the information and I would be doing my students a disservice by not relaying good information to them.
I’m not saying that I never procrastinate anymore or that I am striving for a life that is constantly planned out a week in advance because I know that isn’t going to happen, but being prepared ahead of time does make the student teaching process much easier.
So, for the sake of my own sanity, I’ll be procrastinating less and less.
I can only hope that my new lifestyle rubs off on some of my students. I think less procrastinating would make their lives much easier as well.