As the Senior Training Ninja, I get to hear a lot of stories of how SchoolStatus has helped teachers and administrators save time by making it easy to see all your data in one place and by making it convenient to communicate with parents. This got me thinking, “How much time do people actually save by using SchoolStatus?” I set out to discover this very fact. Through rigorous scientific research (by this I mean casually asking teachers, principals, and district level administrators in between sessions with absolutely no peer review, double blind studies, or even statistically relevant non-leading questions) I discovered that the average time saved per week for teachers is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 hours, and for a principal it's somewhere around 3 hours…every week! Taking an average of the two, I’ll call it 2.5 hours saved each week, and with 36 weeks in a school year that’s 90 extra hours you can have. Want to have 90 extra hours but don’t yet have SchoolStatus? Click here to read more!
I found a great article a while back on skill mastery. It’s commonly accepted that it takes about 10,000 hours to become a “master” in something and only 1,000 hours to be considered expert. However, for many things we don’t need to be a master in something or even an expert, it is enough to be competent. According to the aforementioned article (found here), competency in a skill can be attained with only 100 hours of repetition. This is very powerful as 100 hours is a lot more attainable than 10,000.
Using the products that SchoolStatus offers can give you 90 more hours over a school year to help you on your way to developing competency in something; doing the math over that same timeframe, if you spend 15 minutes each weekend you make up the difference. That’s 100 hours you can have back! I’m sure many of you can think of things you can do with 100 extra hours, but I’ve compiled a list of 10 things you can do that take 100 hours or less.
1) Learn another language
Learning a language is both practical and exciting. Typically it takes about 100 hours of dedicated learning to be semi-conversational in a language. I would advise something exotic like Urdu or Icelandic. Imagine the next faculty meeting when you’re asked a question and you respond “Ég nota SchoolStatus allan tímann!” (Translation: I use SchoolStatus all of the time!). Rosetta Stone is the digital standard, but you can check out Duolingo for a free online service, too. Or I suppose you could always be practical and learn Spanish...
2) Learn to play the Balalaika.
The balalaika is a Russian 3-stringed instrument (yes, the training ninja can play the balalaika and even has his own). While in class, just be sitting there in your Cossack pants and Ushanka – the furry Russian hat – and be jamming to Slavic Folk Tunes and watch as your students stare at you in rapt wonder. Other awesome instruments to learn could be the Bhutanese lingm, the West African (probably Mali) Djembe, or the ever-conventional guitar.
3) Become a local Parkour Celebrity
Parkour, also known as free-running, is a fun and intense way to exercise that involves jumping around the town like Spider Man except that you don’t have the webs. It involves gymnastics, strength, running, endurance, and a casual disregard for the normal use of buildings. Parkour is one of my favorite sports because you get a great workout and all you did was play on buildings or structures like they were your own playground. With enough consistency and practice, others will be soon to join you and you will have local instant stardom! That being said, be aware that there is a risk of injury with Parkour (jumping from one 2 story building to the next while doing a flip and a twist in mid air is not for the faint of heart), so be careful. Alternatively, you could always just use your extra 100 hours to exercise more in a gym, but what’s the fun in that? ;)
4) Volunteer with a charity
This is the first super serious one and there is no shortage of charities that are looking for a few extra hands. This could be something as simple as walking dogs at your local animal shelter or something more complex like helping on a house build with Habitat for Humanity. It doesn’t even have to be physical, though. Have a mind for numbers? Many charities are desperate for help in accounting and budgeting. Have you helped write a grant for your district? One of the biggest needs for many charities is assistance in grant writing. Just pick your charity and go for it!
5) Get certified as a Master BBQ Judge
BBQ is taken very seriously in the US, and even more so in the South. Why not be a judge? Judges have to go through a rigorous certification course to become certified and then must judge a certain number of qualified BBQ competitions to become a Master. One of the greatest benefits is that you get to keep any of the BBQ that you taste and get free entry to any of the judging festivals! It’s fun and tasty and you can start here. If BBQ isn’t your style, in 100 hours you can get certified as a Cicerone (like a Sommelier, but for beer), Dog Psychologist, or more practically, get your TESOL/TEFL certification.
6) Become a local history tour guide
Your city and local area has a HUGE amount of history to offer you and there is a whole heck of a lot to learn. One of my favorite things to do in a city in which I am unfamiliar is join one of those free walking tours. You get an inside look at the city you are visiting and hear from locals who know the area. You can do this too! It takes about 60 hours of training and about 30 hours of touring before your get your tour guide groove down. Benefits? You set your schedule and are tipped for your service at the end of the tour (ranging from $10 to $20 per person on the tour). For you History teachers out there, this could be a fun experience and a nice little side hustle! Check out http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/ for some ideas on how this works.
7) Become a YouTube Star
YouTube stardom is a dream that many people have but few people succeed. Why? The main reason is because of time. It typically takes about 6-7 hours of filming and editing to post an average length video of about 5-10 minutes. To become a YouTube sensation, it takes at least a year of consistent content and a few lucky breaks and you have to post a video anywhere from twice a week to once every two weeks (what it takes). With 100 extra hours a year, it would take you about 1 year to get a good backlog of videos created to set you on your way to Internet Stardom. Who knows, you could be the next PewDiePie…
8) Start a Business or Side Hustle
This is a very broad topic and not one I’m going to cover in depth right here. If you seriously desire to start out on your own, I recommend talking with a local owner of a startup (maybe our own Russ Davis) about the pluses and minuses. But in 100 hours, you could start some pretty nice side hustles for a little extra cash flow. I would recommend going to the following Web sites to get some more information:
9) Catch up on your Favorite Flicks
We all have that Netflix watch list, or those super awesome shows we DVR'd that we haven’t had time to binge watch. While I don’t personally advocate spending 100 extra hours on watching shows or movies, I understand that sometimes all you want to do with 100 extra hours is relax by taking that time to watch a quick flick. The average length of a feature film right now is 130 minutes and a one hour episode is actually about 40 minutes. This means that with your 100 hours you can catch up on 46 feature length films or 150 episodes of your favorite TV show. However, check out this article that helps you save even more time and money: How to Add 8 Years and $133,369 to Your Life.
Because let’s face it, an extra 2 hours of sleep would be pretty awesome!
There you have it folks. Good luck and I look forward to the amazing things you will do with an extra 100 hours!
Richard Walter, our Senior Training Ninja, never fails to bring a pelthora of somewhat useful information to the SchoolStatus offices! Check out all the datanerds here, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!