Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Get it together...whatever "it" is

As I sit here following a cancellation of classes today and the same for tomorrow, the many scheduling issues that need to be addressed have accumulated.  It is hard to imagine that there is ever "time" for educational leadership among all of the duties that are continually happening in a district.  That's actually an easy copout...if someone is serious about their position, they find a way to do it.  Maybe what I'm concerned with is finding the right "system" to make it all work.  People's time is so valuable but they are also so needed for conversations and decision-making.  Finding the time to meet with small groups of people is as hard as making the decisions.  With so many things flying around and seeming somewhat random, how does a person organize them into a pattern that makes sense and prevents - or at least limits - the omissions that may occur?  And when that pattern gets established, what happens with a disruption like snow days?  Not my typical item here...just have more questions than ideas this evening.



Trish B said...

Finding collaboration time is something we did in WC a few years ago. Every teacher prek-12 has 2 to 3 periods a week to be in a PLC with others. It has been very valuable.

Tina said...

Making time for anything is difficult. A true leader struggles with that issue often because to lead making time for others is part of your job. I find that a great leader leads by example. That being said...set a schedule that you will make routine, one that takes time to discuss with other supterintendents, legislative members, teachers, community, students, parents, all together or seperately. Don't schedule anything else during those times. If the weather cancels use technology and enable them to do the same (skype group chat ex.). Make these meetings known to all that you are employed to lead. This is not a new idea but exactly what John Kennedy started in the white house before and during this presidency. Think long term and keep this example going even when the discussion does not seem to be useful. Keep the tone educational at all times. Follow this model for conversations...Reaction,learning,planning/operational, evaluation... then repeat. Discussions do not have to be formal in formal settings. Lunches, prep times, after a game, before a game, be creative.
Boy can I give good advice just need to follow it also.

dkeane said...

I have struggled to find time to go to the restroom over the past three weeks.
I would agree that meeting with the many groups that make up a school or in your case a whole school district can be difficult. One thing that helps me is to have a secretary actually schedule time for me to meet with individuals and groups. Once it is on my schedule, I make it a priority. If I were to be making my own schedule, I am not so sure I would take the time to line up meetings and meet with people.
She is also awesome about letting me know what grumblings are going on and who I need to meet with to address them.
I have been blessed with awesome secretaries since I left the classroom. In Humboldt, my secretary taught me how to use a secretary and was extremely loyal, bright, and kept me focused on what I needed to focus on.
In Keokuk I had a secretary that was tremendous. She was so tremendous that the superintendent and business manager stole her from me, but then I stole the secretary from the AD. She was awesome as well.
Here in Fort Dodge, the ladies I work with in the office are tremendous.
The key to success is managing relationships and in my case secretaries are instrumental in my doing this.

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