Whitney Grady: Making time

Whitney Grady: Making time

“It is not enough to be busy…The question is: what are we busy about?” ~ Henry David Thoreau

These are busy times. As wonderfully advanced as we are technologically, rarely are we able to turn “off” work or scheduling or social media. We are constantly “on”…adults and kids alike.

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It’s easy to get so busy that we do not slow down and make time for the simple things that are still so very important. Where can we find the time? Twenty-four hours does not always seem to be enough.

I have found myself wishing for more time. I wished I had more time to slow down and teach my own children – how to sew a button, how to tie a bowtie. I yearned for the days of the past for my own children, days when schools still offered home economics and learned the simple tasks that are so vital to daily life in adulthood. Who has the time?

As a teacher at Arendell Parrott Academy, I tossed out an idea: what if I found time to offer to teach these life skills to our middle school students during the school day? Would they be interested? Could it work?

I’m lucky enough to work at a school open to ideas for the betterment of our students. The response I was given: Why not?

We are in our third month of school and our third month of “club electives” which have already taught students how to tie a tie, how to tie a bowtie, what it feels like to walk in someone else’s shoes, how to sew a button, and more!

Students view a “menu” of activities Tuesday-Thursday each week which cover life skills, inspiring activities, and activities to foster creativity. Club time in middle school is strictly voluntary and is a time in which students are not scored, judged, or evaluated. It is simply a time to explore interests, be motivated, and learn essential life skills.

On any club day, it is nothing to find every desk full and students sitting on the floor to be a part of the day’s activities.

We’ve figured out how to make time for what matters and we’re loving every minute.

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