Sunday, 3 November 2013

Time for ... #SAVMP

AND GO!...

steven covey, seven habits, time managementThat seems to be the way my week starts every Monday.  As the principal of a small school with no assistant principal, there seemed to be so many things to accomplish every day.  While I wished to be in Stephen Covey's Quadrant II, I often found myself responding to crisis, whether it was a student, a parent or a teacher or answering the many many emails that came my way.  Meeting the needs of the folks in my building was part of relationship building but I still felt like I was simply putting out fires.  I spent a great deal of time in classrooms but that was definitely part of my job and in my opinion, QII.  
If I really wanted to get some quality planning time in, it was necessary to be in the building quite late or very early.  I know this work was important but was more reactive rather than proactive.  Our school staff and parents were trained in the Leader in Me program and by the second year, if I put my door hanger on that said, "I am in QII, please leave me alone," they would do just that.  However, I felt kind of awkward putting the sign up because it felt like I was ignoring the people I needed to build relationships with in QII.  In my last year in the principalship, I was learning to take the time to do the those important tasks and feeling okay with asking people to make appointments to see me.  I found if I did this, I wasn't at work until all hours of the night or coming home, slamming dinner together, only to sit down and work remotely on what didn't get done during the day.  

This year, I still feel like I am running, but I realize I have much to learn in my new position.  I did ask a staff member to come and see me this next week for a longer appointment because I had some important QII items to complete on Friday.  And you know?  I didn't feel so guilty. It felt so GREAT to get everything done that needed to be done on Friday.  I think I will continue to grow in my ability to manage my time appropriately. I need to remember what my bottom line is; what is my purpose and the vision of our department and ultimately our district.  Like a friend of mine said, "You gotta keep the main thing the main thing."  And what is our main thing? Supporting students and staff to provide the best and most equitable education for every student in the classroom.

I love this quote and I think I will keep it close in the future...
Start by Doing What’s Necessary, Then What’s Possible and Suddenly you are Doing the Impossible..
~~ St. Francis Of Assisi 


  1. I love your last phrase about our main thing.

    "Supporting students and staff to provide the best and most equitable education for every student in the classroom."

    It's so easy to get overwhelmed by the paperwork and other administrative duties but reminding ourselves of our important job of supporting students and staff helps keep things in perspective.

    1. My bottom line is would I be happy if this was my child? I would want an equitable education for my own child or grandchild.

  2. Dear Brenda,

    Lately, I have been feeling like my Main Thing is everything!! I am way down in the weeds of faculty evaluation and professional development. I will keep the metaphor going and say I see the light filtering through the kelp and know that I will be through the fall rounds of student feedback of faculty and new teacher evaluation. In the meantime, I need to be content with relationship building and lean into the knowledge that I will have time built into my schedule at the end of the month for reflection and planning!

    1. I know as an administrator, you can get really bogged down. That is when I sit down and reflect on all that is happening. I decide what is the most important that will contribute to my idea of the main thing - providing an equitable education for all of my students.