That 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