Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's about time. #SAVMP

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In January's #SAVMP post,  Joe Mazza asks us to reflect on how we manage time as school leaders. There is never enough time in the day! Here are some questions posed by Joe and my responses below:

How do you manage your time?
I make choices. One of my teachers told me the other day that her work day starts at 3:00 when the kids leave, and I agree. During the day, as much as we can be, should be devoted to kids and learning-- even for school leaders. There are always meetings and unexpected things come up but I really want to be out and about in my school or working on something that will really impact our school in a positive way.

What have you found to be helpful? 
I love Google calendar! If it's not on my calendar, it doesn't exist! We use Google calendar to schedule SST and IEP meetings, field trips, assemblies, upcoming events and more. There is a calendar of school events embedded on our school website that helps keep families up to date on events and deadlines.

What has been a roadblock for you? 
There are two things that are really challenging: email and finding balance. I feel pretty good about my email now (only 10 or so in my inbox) after having over 7,000 in October! Eeek! Email is a definite time suck. Read more here about how I dug out of that crazy inbox in just a few days!

Finding balance is hard. You could work 24/7 and never be done. In the end, you just have to set boundaries for yourself. In 2015, I've decided that I'm going to try to not reply to non-emergency work emails in the evening or on the weekend. It's not that I don't look, but I give myself permission to let go. And I don't check my email in the morning until I arrive at work at 7:00 am. I realized that I was starting my work day at 5:45 am some days. If there is an emergency, I know I'll get a text or phone call. Adam Welcome inspired me to do a little digital detox and it's been a good thing. It's also helped me be more mindful about emailing teachers over the weekend- I don't want them to feel they have to respond on their off time. Sometimes, I want to send something while I am thinking about it, so I preface with a "don't reply until you're back at work" or use Boomerang to send first thing Monday morning.

Any tools out there that you’d recommend to a colleague?
As I mentioned before, Boomerang is awesome! You can schedule emails to send out whenever you want them to go! Check out Boomerang here!

Not sending out a long monthly newsletter has saved time, too. Use Twitter, Remind, and other digital tools to keep families informed and engaged in real time! Our school website is a hub for tons of information and not typing that newsletter has freed me up to be with teachers and kids more during the day! 

I'd love to hear how you manage your time!

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