Every Minute Matters

Each morning, Twin Peaks leaders greet our students at the front entrance with a warm welcome. Smiles and handshakes are exchanged as we wish one another a good morning. Not only do we want to start the day on a positive note, but we also want the students to know we are approachable and here for them. 

At 7:50 a.m., we open the doors and the students begin the festivities. I say “Good morning” at least 100 times, which would surpass 17,000 times in the school year. It is one of my favorite parts of the day. Then at 7:59 a.m., our warning bell rings. Our teachers kindly hurry kids along and there is a mad scramble for students to make it to class on time before the 8:00 a.m. bell rings to indicate that they are late. 

The virtue shown in arriving to class on time extends beyond showing respect for the teacher. i . It also shows respect for the other students. It shows respect for the material being discussed. And perhaps, most importantly, it shows respect for the student himself. Time is our most precious commodity. Those who squander it are far more likely to fail, while those who honor and respect it are far more likely to succeed. 

Are we overreacting by helping students get to class on time? After all, it’s just a couple of minutes every now and then. Class is 85 minutes long. This is the common response we hear from students and unfortunately, sometimes from parents. And most unfortunately, I’ve heard it from educators. 

It would benefit us to examine this more closely. Is this a big deal?

Let us consider the average student sleeps 8-hours per day. This would leave 16-hours the student would be awake. If we take the non Leap Year of 365 days, the average student would be awake 5,840 hours. Compare that amount to the amount of time the student is at school. We begin classes at 8:00 am and end at 3:00 pm. The 7-hour school day can be multiplied by 173 school days, which assumes we do not have any snow days or other school closures. The total time a student is in school comes to 1,211 hours. Initially, this sounds like plenty of time, but each Twin Peaks student is in school for only 20.7% of their waking hours for a calendar year. 

Now consider each class. In high school, each class is 85 minutes long. With 173 school days in the year, and each class meeting  only every other day, this would result in 7,352.5 minutes each school year for a particular class. We already know there are 5,840 hours which equates to 350,400 minutes in the school year. This result is a miniscule 2.1% of their waking moments.

At Twin Peaks, one of our common sayings  is that every minute matters. If our teachers have a paltry 2.1% of your child’s time for their class, every minute matters is an understatement. We really should say, every second matters. It turns out that, yes, being punctual is a big deal.