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The Importance of Being on Time

"Lost time is never found again."

– Benjamin Franklin

Being on time is something we all strive for. It's a simple concept but can sometimes be tough to achieve. For the sake of our children's success, it's a skill adults must strive to master and model every day. Modeling important behaviors teaches children how to be successful in the world.

Rhythm is at the heart of Waldorf education, where word "rhythm" is used to describe not just our daily schedule but times of intensity and focus as well as times of relaxing and recharging. There is a rhythm to the year. We gear up for school; we celebrate the same holidays and special occasions at the same times of year; we tend to relax and recharge during summertime. Even our sleep has a rhythm. We feel more rested when we go to sleep at the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning.

There is also a rhythm to the day - we get up, we get dressed and ready for the day, we go to work or school, we come home and wind down, we go to sleep for the night. Human beings need rhythm. It's a natural part of us. When it's disrupted, we feel out of sorts. Ms. Contento, Grades Chair and Grade 2 Teacher, sees this play out in her classroom every day in different ways. Arriving late for school is one of the most common.

"When a child is late, I see anxiety, and they start to feel insecure about their abilities," she says. "When they miss Circle Time, they miss important academic work, and they sense that. Falling behind is definitely a stressor."

Students who are late miss a very important part of their day. They may not get to practice Mental Math or speech work that is done during Circle Time. They also cause a disruption to their fellow students and the rhythm of the class as a whole.

"Being on time to work is a crucial part of being an employee [in the workplace], and modeling that for the children by being on time for school sets a great example." Ms Contento adds, "Many of my students are proud of being the first student to arrive at school."


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