Friday, June 17, 2011

2000 Hours

This summer I am starting 2000 hours project.  2000 hours is the brainchild of a teacher named Chuck who is fed up with the popular misconception that teaching is really a part-time job because, after all, we get to leave at 2pm and get the "summer off." To dispel this myth, he decided to log the number of hours he spends working during both during the school day and during his time off.  I love this idea.   I'm not sure I will continue it for an entire school year, the way Chuck is, but I am definitely ready to commit for summer. For one, I too am becoming grumpy with pundits and politicians who have never set foot in a classroom/school library, but who feel they have the right to comment on what an easy job we have. But also, I'm just interested in finding out how many hours I really do put in during the summer months.  (An aside, my husband is always complaining that I'm really a 12 month employee who settles for 10 month pay, so this summer we're going to see if he's right!) Anyway, I'm so geeked out over this project that I created a couple of items to help chronicle my (and maybe your???) journey.


First, I created this badge for my blog.  If you're gonna log your hours too and want to plaster a badge on your blog, feel free to use it, change it, share it, etc.  (The image is my own - one I took for my 365/Image a Day Project. The text I added using Picnik.)

Second, I created a spreadsheet to track my hours.  I used Google Docs to create the sheet and will use it as my "time card" for this project.  This way, I can access it if I am away from my home computer but still "working."  Plus, this way all the world can keep track of my hours.  Perhaps someone will even start a pool and take bets on just how little actual "life" I have. :)   Anyway, in addition to figuring out exactly how many hours I will spend working this summer, I'm also looking forward to seeing what type of work I do during the (almost) 2 months I have away from school.

However many hours I actually log, I feel like this is a good exercise for me - both personally and publicly. I can only imagine that being honest and reflective about the amount of time I spending working when I don't really have to will be a good thing. Plus, like the creator of this project, Chuck, I'm anxious to dispel a few myths myself.



So... how did I spend the first day of "summer break?"  I updated the library webpage to include a summer reading project and a super cool culminating video for our year end Food for Fines project.   Then I sent out a year end letter to parents inviting their students to participate in said summer reading fun and emailed my principal with an update.  All told, it took me just shy of 2 hours.

Anyway, if you're planning on clocking a few hours this summer, consider this a personal invitation to join the 2000 Hour Club. In addition to whatever updates I post here, I'll also be tweeting about it using the #2000hour hashtag.  So, c'mon!  Join me! (You know you want to!)

12 comments:

  1. Yes, my husband also considers me to be a 12-month employee who settles for 10 months of pay. But he also says it really doesn't matter because if I got the extra $ I'd spend it on school anyway.

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  2. Haha! Are me married to the same person, Mrs. G? :) Keep on keeping on, girl!

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  3. John: Yes. Yes! YES! Let's document and share! :)

    Thanks for your kind words, friend. You inspire me every day!

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  4. This is a fabulous idea! I often spend my "off hours" working on school things, and now that I am a media specialist, I will probably spend even more!

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  5. Love the post! 2000 hours might be reached before you know it since we/teachers think of school while driving, shopping and sleeping (does that count??). With that said, I wish you many school-free hours this summer!

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  6. Love the badge, what did you use to create the image?

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  7. K. Michelle: Welcome to Library Land! I spend just as much, if not more time, working outside of school NOW as I did when I was a classroom teacher - the work is different, but equally rewarding. Good luck to you!

    @jeannezoo: Oi! If we're counting all the time we *think* about school too, we're going to have to change this to 2,000,000 hours. :)

    Jo Beth: I took the picture myself (of clocks at World Market) - Used Gimp (a photoshop like freeware program) and Picnik to edit. Feel free to copy, paste, edit as you see fit.

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  8. Jennifer--give me some ideas of what you are going to log...do you consider those books that you took home for summer reading as part of this? I know I constantly read books from my library and consider this part of the job, so....?

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  9. Hi Sarah! First off, I don't think there's any hard and fast rules to this except that we be honest about what we are actually doing for work - as opposed to just for enjoyment. That said, I've issued a summer reading challenge to my students wherein I read books and post podcasted book reviews, so I will definitely count the books I read for those purposes. Plus, I'll count the reading I do for the NCSLMA book award BECAUSE I am creating curriculum materials to go along with each book. If I read it just for fun (what's that??) I won't count it. However, and I can't stress this enough, there are no rules. If you know you are reading something that you wouldn't otherwise do for fun, I say count it! Hope that helps! :)

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  10. Great idea, Jennifer! Too bad WRITING a YA won't count! But I am going to give this a try, because as far as I know, I still have a job. (Waiting for the other shoe to drop, because without John, our team may be 'expendable.')

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  11. Just had a peek around your website and noticed your "wish list wall" idea - hope you don't mind if I borrow the idea for my school's library as well!

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  12. Teaching is not a part time job. Imagine how they handle and make the kids listen to them. For me it's a career that truly needs a lot of effort that is why I respect teachers so much.
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