8. That’s the magic number of recommended hours of sleep. But what about the number of hours awake? According to the magic number, we’re supposed to be awake sixteen hours a day. That number is so big I feel tired just thinking about it.
The irony is at the end of those sixteen hours, I feel the daily crunch of not having done enough.
I have a scholar who walks into the class always a minute after attendance submission. He’s lucky he’s never counted tardy; our class is the furthest down the hall. He is considered on time as long as his feet crosses the primary threshold. But he takes his sweet time dragging his feet to class, his eyes half-lidded, back slightly hunched – you would think the zombie apocalypse has begun. Slumped in his seat, he barely lifts his head to greet me or Ella – or any of his friends! Breakfast would be a source of energy, but when given one, he leaves the food untouched. Despite sleeping at eight-thirty pm according to his mom, he doesn’t fully wake up until late morning – ten-thirty/eleven or so.
I wish I could do that! Just sit back and babysit my scholars and teach them when I am good and ready. But adults have responsibilities.
So do children for that matter. At our charter school, we push for core values to be learned and honored. With our scholar in much need for slumber, Ella and I were not sympathetic at first. The rest of the class slept and woke up at relatively the same time as him. We refused to lower our expectations; instead, since he is our resident hip hop dance star, we would start the day with a song to get everybody moving. It worked – except for him.
Finally, this week we stopped pushing him and started meeting him halfway. Lowering our tones like talking to a stunned rabbit who walked into a tree, to find demonstrate he understands us by repeating or arm gestures or to listen. He prefers the latter, but at least he makes choice by himself to bring a chair over to the learning carpet to remain a part of the whole class.
Kids need eight to ten hours of sleep. Why is it that adults need less? Sure our brains are developed, but if we are in charge of influencing others around us with our quips and tones, if we are to be the exemplary leaders ourselves, if we are to carry out tasks with excellent accuracy, we need our sleep today.
This comes from me at my 18.5 hours of being awake. The inner me tells me I’m a wimp; I’ve survived on four to five hours of sleep in high school and in college. But then my loner side wasn’t pleasant in high school and my choices weren’t rational in college – I’m beginning to see a whole new me.
Lights out, goodnight readers.