Time Is Running Out

Dr. Austine Etcheverry Uncategorized

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Screen Shot 2019-08-04 at 8.34.42 AMI wake up in the morning these last few months feeling like the clock is running out on me. It’s interesting to think that, essentially in the school system, January begins a weird sort of count down for me. We have five months of school left, but the time flies. We are now into March and the big planning begins. I plan for next year; teachers telling us they are leaving or staying. Plans for professional development, data trends and big decisions on curriculum are made now. Yet, my brain wants to stop the clock. We still have three months to go, it yells, but I cannot slow down.

It is equally important to be present in the next three months. Be sure to optimize every moment of opportunity with students this year while still trying to be diligent and not forget anything that must be done for the next year. Money deadlines, grant proposals, and equipment ideas cannot wait for August, for that would be too late.

And with all that said, there is another sort of push with the clock running down, it is an achievement. You wonder did students get enough opportunity this year? Did they make enough growth? Did we do all we can do and how will we optimize the time we have left. We want to be sure that every student gets as much opportunity as possible in order to grow and learn. We might have students at this juncture that have not made the progress we want, it is a time when we re-evaluate data in order to determine what is going wrong? We celebrate the successes and look to see where the students are at and celebrate the growth they have made.

While during this time of the year teachers and staff may be tired, students might be wearing down from the educational wheel they sometimes feel trapped on. These last three months can be the busiest of times, compounded with the desire that time slows down to give us just a little more. More time with the group of students who we have to come to know as people, not just students. More time to give them a few more pointers, tips, and tidbits of knowledge before they move on to the next grade.

There’s also the dark side of the clock. This is the time of year when people have decided they no longer want to teach anymore. They are moving in a different direction. This is the time of year when you might begin to see your teaching collogues change from happy, love my job people – to ‘I can’t wait to leave’ staff members who do not share in your enthusiasm for the next year. The dark side of the clock is that at this time in the year you might be dreading the end because you are going to have to say good-bye to the teacher who has been working alongside you because you have decided you can no longer work in that district.

I think education is one of the unique fields where March to May is the clock count down with one foot in this year and one foot in the next. How will you spend your next three months? Are you also trying to outrun the clock? What will you do to ensure students get equal access for the last three months? How will you spend your last three months of the 2019 – 2020 educational school year?


I started my educational career as a 1:1 paraprofessional for a student who was blind and had a cognitive impairment. After this amazing opportunity, I decided teaching was my passion. In 2007 I became a certified special education teacher and taught 5th – 8th grade resource. Throughout my career in education, I have held various leadership roles such as a technology coach, an exceptional needs coach and an IEP coordinator. Three years ago, I decided to begin pursuing my National Board Certification and was fortunate enough to achieve in December 2018. I currently have the privilege of being the principal in the Avondale Elementary School District at a school for students with an emotional disability. I have my own social media company where I write and create dental blogs. I have also had the honor of publishing articles in a dental magazine as well as published a young adult science fiction series. In December 2018, I became a certified yoga instructor and recently completed my Doctorate in Education Leadership and Administration from Aspen University.

Comments 2

  1. Amethyst Hinton Sainz

    I can really relate to this post! I think most of us can!

    Another dark side to the clock is testing… uggghhhh. Between February and Mid-April my ELD students will sit for 13 subtest sections of various tests, not to mention all the prep, practice tests and schoolwide cheerleading initiatives.

    I am changing jobs next year, and I have this funny little bit of anxiety about not being able to think about what I would do differently next time. It’s like… Welp! I guess that’s as good as my ELD teaching is going to get! It’s weird, because like you mention, I think those reflective thoughts this time of year are ingrained into us.

  2. Caitlin Corrigan

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you say we have one foot in this year and one foot in the next. Every year around this time I have to try to hard to stay present because there’s so much more time left with these students, and they need their teacher to be present. I always have to remind myself to be creative, try new things, and have fun with my students while they are still in my classroom. These last 3 months, I am going to try different types of cooperative learning activities, different ways to integrate technology, and perhaps a reading workshop structure for my reading block as I close the school year.

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