Kevin Blissett: Out of the Cave

Leadership, Classroom 2.0, Curriculum, China

Leaving the Burrow

“OK, today I’m going to get out into classrooms, and nothing’s gonna 3016899799_ac4801b6fa get in my way!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uttered those words, but no matter how good my  intentions are, the “office” part of the job seems to always call for immediate attention. In this article from Principal magazine, former principal and superintendent Kathleen J. Parkhurst offers advice on how to make the most of one’s time and find space for visiting classrooms during the school day. Among her suggestions:

  • Organize a routine.
  • Keep an orderly office.
  • Delegate.
  • Answer email in chunks 2-3 times per day.
  • Have a proper filing system.
  • Get ready for tomorrow today.

I might add: escape while you can. One thing Parkhurst does not address is how to get into the classrooms when one is a teaching principal. Classroom visits clearly become more of problem when the principal is teaching 1/3 to 1/2 of the day. In this case, I just have to clear the entire slate some afternoons or mornings to make sure I’m seeing teachers and students, and they are seeing me.

Photo by ecastro


April 17, 2009 Posted by | multitasking, organization, principal, time management | Leave a comment

Better Meetings

Some good suggestions from Seth Godin about making meetings different and more effective. I will be implementing some if not all of them Tuesday. A few of the ideas:

3. Require preparation. Give people things to read or do before the meeting, and if they don’t, kick them out.

4. Remove all the chairs from the conference room. I’m serious.

6. Bring an egg timer to the meeting. When it goes off, you’re done. Not your fault, it’s the timer’s.

7. The organizer of the meeting is required to send a short email summary, with action items, to every attendee within ten minutes of the end of the meeting. (Grrr! OK.–KB)

April 3, 2009 Posted by | meetings, organization, time management | Leave a comment

Managing Your Day

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Lots of good ideas here from The Simple Dollar. We’ve probably all waded through mounds of time management programs, perhaps even gone to workshops focusing on the topic. This blog post provides concrete advice for not letting yourself become overwhelmed throughout the day. Some examples:

  • Keep your to-do list to four items per day. (This one would seem to be difficult for me, unless they are major tasks.)
  • Check email only twice a day.
  • File things once a day so that papers don’t pile up. (I try to avoid paper like the plague. If it can be done electronically, it will be. This helps me to keep things organized and neat…and saves trees.)
  • Start the day with your MAJOR creative task.
  • Take lots of micro-breaks. Move around.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | organization, time management | 1 Comment