Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Using the Most Important Finite Resource - Our Time

In my notes from yesterday's Government and Economics course, I found the following paraphrased statement:  "It is more difficult to be a citizen in a free society because we have to make, and live with, our own decisions."

The high school students we teach are likely getting to the age where they want the independence and authority to make their own decisions about what to do with their time.  Bob shared with the class his familiarity with the number 168, the number of hours in each week.  Deciding what to do with that time is a big responsibility because time is a finite resource, meaning once it is spent there is no getting it back.  We all have the same amount of time, so we differentiate ourselves by using it wisely, or not.

Arguing With Success, from today's Wall Street Journal, explains that recent assessments have proven that the Harlem Success Academies, which are charter schools in New York City, have "outperformed their public-school peers, often by a wide margin."  Many successful charter schools have credited their success to longer school days and school years.  The "At a Glance" section of the Harlem Success Academy's website gives the following statement as one of the six things that make its schools different from others:

Time Matters: How you use time and structure the school day has a tremendous impact on student performance. We maximize every minute and continuously review our schedule to ensure the most efficient use of time. We have a longer school day and year.

In one of last week's posts addressed to basketball players on my basketball blog, I advised that "the players who work the most and who have the most productive workouts will be the players who distinguish themselves."  The quantity and the quality of time dedicated to achieving a goal is the most important tool at our disposal.

The Harlem Success students, ranging from 5 to 14 years old, have had the decisions of what to do with their time mostly made for them by the adults around them.  Our Government and Economics students, who also happen to participate in sports such as basketball and volleyball, are at or near the age that requires them to decide how to use their time.  The activities they choose, the enthusiasm that they exhibit in the pursuit of excellence, and the time they dedicate to these areas will determine their success and satisfaction.  They should be excited about this opportunity to practice the responsibility of citizenship.

The "Student Section" contains posts related to the Government and Economics course that Bob Cook teaches.  To learn more about the educational offerings of the Augusta Metro Youth Foundation please contact Chad Cook:
706 550 2229

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