5 Minutes

When I was in year 11, we had a new biology teacher who was a breath of fresh air for the school and our class.

She was quite young, having gone straight through the education system and into teaching. This was her second job, a sleepy secondary school in the Peak District. A walk in the park I imagine, after her first job working in inner city Manchester.

From the very beginning she set the standards high. She demanded respect and she respected us. She expected hard work and worked hard to make our lessons interesting and engaging. In a school where a number of teachers who had lost their initial passion, it was exciting to have new ideas (and a young, passionate teacher!).

I remember one day in her first week when she silenced the entire class. She called out a young, cocky boy for turning up five minutes late.

“It’s only a couple of minutes, miss. It’s not that bad.”

Her explanation proved it could, in fact, be costly.

Given that one latecomer is a distraction and an interruption, waiting costs the lesson, let’s say, five minutes. Five minutes every lesson was 15 minutes lost per week. That’s an hour of learning lost per month. And about 10 hour lessons over the academic year.

Do you turn up on time? How does it feel when you are kept waiting by others?

Be polite. Be punctual.