Many school administrators (as all educators) feel an extreme time crunch and are unsure of how to get done all the things that they need to get done in the day. When I have suggested that blogging should be a part of the work that they do, not only because of the transparency that it shows in their thought, but also because it helps them connect and reflect on their learning, many of them laugh at the idea.
“There is simply no time.”
To me, reflecting as an administrator is not an option. I believe that doing it through a blog or openly is better as your learning can help others, but reflection is vital to learning.
The majority of schools that I have visited have “DEAR” time (Drop Everything and Read) embedded into their day, but how many embed time for kids to just write and reflect? So if reflection is an important part of what we do as educators then why do we have such a hard time to actually do it within the confines of our day? Shouldn’t this be a part of what is happening in classrooms?
So what if once in awhile, or even scheduled in our day, an administrator actually closed the door, and just reflected. If we told our teachers that we have to take time to connect and reflect our learning, would they see that as a negative, or would they see something that you are trying to model? Collaboration is essential but don’t we need to be able to bring our own thoughts and learning to the table? Yes, administrators should be accessible and have a door open most of the time to be welcoming to their school community, but sometimes, isn’t it important to just take some time?
In the article, “Stop Being A People Pleaser”, the author discusses that our door does not always need to be open:
Many managers feel guilty about the fact that they’re in so many meetings so they develop the mindset that “I’m a bad manager if I don’t always keep my door open when I’m in my office.” But this can lead to every spare minute between appointments being filled by people walking through their door eager for attention. In turn, all of their own work needs to happen in the evenings and weekends, which then leads to a cycle of guilt about being a bad spouse, parent, or friend. If this sounds like you, the escape route is to change your standards for what it means to be a good manager. This then frees you to set better boundaries and get more work done at work. For instance your mindset could be: “Part of being a good manager is demonstrating the importance of focusing on high priority work. I can keep my door closed during certain times of the week when I need to get things done without guilt.”
So I guess my question from the above quote is, is taking time to reflect high priority work?