This conversation starter can be unpacked to unearth quite a few levels. With spring in the air and spring breaks popping up in school districts across the country, now is a good time to discuss:
How much vacation time should we have?
Be prepared for the answer we are sometimes eager to give: unlimited vacation time!
Empathize and acknowledge, then ask any or all of the various follow-ups:
- How would you spend all of that time?
- If time weren’t metered, do you think people would better appreciate the time they spend working/going to school?
- What would it look like if there weren’t rules about how we spend our time (for example, the dictated length of the school day)?
- Then a meaty one: do rules help us or hinder us?
The objective is to lead students to examine their own values regarding time. If there were no limits, how would they spend their time? If they weren’t required to, would they work/study?
This conversation also invites them to reflect on how they may thrive or feel boxed in by rules and guidelines. Introspective students may begin to realize that, by following set timelines for either a vacation or the school day, they are able to be more productive than they would be if they were required to motivate themselves. For others, they will feel the opposite.
Ultimately, these are questions all people examine and need to wrestle with in order to maximize their productivity and their success.
For younger students, this is a great way to kickstart a conversation about how they enjoy spending their time. Do they love the outdoors? Their books? Or time with family?
Let me know what they come up with!