1 Managing Priorities in the PrincipalshipNew Orleans New Leaders - Kim Marshall – June 30, 2010
2 Overview The principal’s unique time management challenge Time management’s role in student achievement Ten keys to effective time management Knowing and executing your “Big Rocks” Clicker questions throughout (anonymous) Last page of packet is a one-page summary
3 Stand up/sit down I always carry a pen and something to write things down. I use an Outlook or Entourage electronic calendar. Keeping up with e-mail is killing me! I have a clean e-mail inbox at the end of every day. I never get to half the things on my daily to-do list. I like putting things in folders/I like putting things in 3-ring binders. I have a solid theory of action for getting high student achievement. I hate dealing with budgets and financial stuff. I sometimes procrastinate writing up teacher evaluations. I do vigorous exercise 3 times/week or moderate 5 times/week. I haven’t been getting enough sleep this year. I feel guilty about neglecting my family/loved ones. I have time management really nailed. I have no life!
4 Essential questions How can a principal work really, really hard and not see gains in student achievement? What leadership actions have the most impact on student achievement? How can a principal stay focused on the important stuff amidst hundreds of competing demands and distractions? What are the most powerful tools to manage time for maximum impact on teaching and learning? How can super-busy principals get into classrooms and give meaningful feedback to teachers? How can principals shift the conversation with teachers to results?
5 The Zen of time management A principal’s story about the 40% not done There’s always 40% - but which 40% What if you failed to dismiss an incompetent teacher? What if there’s no guaranteed and viable curriculum? What if the test scores stink? What is you have a widening achievement gap?
13 Good time management>>>> High student achievement Weak priority management leads to low achievement a widening achievement gap Does that make sense? But for many of us, this stuff doesn’t come naturally. We have to be very reflective and purposeful!
14 10 Priority Management Areas A. Having a laser-like focus on student achievement B. Having clear expectations for learning, discipline, etc. C. Planning for the year, month, week, and day D. Scheduling meetings for key teams E. Writing it down, prioritizing, and following up F. Delegating to competent people G. Getting into classrooms and giving teachers feedback H. Preventing time-wasting crises and activities I. Taking care of yourself J. Self-evaluating on goals and progress
15 A quick overall self-assessment The workshop is organized around these areas. Arms folded - we all have tendencies. Which are your strong areas? Weak areas? Check the ones where you think you’re strongest. Circle the ones that need improvement. We’ll discuss these one by one.
16 H.S.P.S. Hyperactive Superficial Principal Syndrome Very smart people’s brains turn to mush! Running around putting out fires, busy, busy, busy. As much as three hours a day with discipline In constant demand, over-the-transom stuff Urgent overdrive, becoming an intensity junkie Lose sight of the big stuff - instruction! There’s never enough time.
17 Which to do? Working longer and harder Finding ways to fit more into the day Increasing stamina and endurance Working smarter Being more efficient Using time-management tricks and tools Working deeper Doing what really affects student achievement The effective versus the shallow stuff
18 There’s a finite amount of time 70-80 hours a week is the physical limit. Mere mortals can’t do more! So it’s a zero-sum game. If you spend more time on the wrong stuff, you’ll spend less time on the right stuff. So how do you “spend” that time?
19 The job of principal is “undoable” in the sense that all the work never gets done. So the principal who thrives must have a clear sense of which activities produce the most student gains. Daniel Duke (1998) Time is a precious and finite resource. Kathleen McCartney (2009) The reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first. Robert McKain
20 We need a balance of all three Work hard This is not a job for the faint-hearted. Set reasonable limits, find your maximum. It will be intense at first, but it should improve. Work smart Learn every trick you can! Constantly add to your repertoire Work deep Laser-like focus on student achievement Research-driven “big rocks” Keep the deep stuff in your face!
21 Perverse law of time management • Few immediate rewards for doing Quadrant II Negative reinforcement for not doing other stuff We’re conditioned not to be instructional leaders! Adults get into patterns (ruts?) - H.S.P.S. Can they change?
22 Freeston & Costa (1998) Value-added work Leads directly to higher student achievement (observing and supporting teaching, interim assessment analysis, curriculum unit planning) Necessary work Keeps the school running (ordering supplies, supervising cafeteria and buses) Waste work No value-add, could have been avoided if done right the first time (meeting with wrong people present, complaints, some discipline crises)
23 Now apply these concepts to “Crazy Day” In groups of 2 or 3, read together With each event, decide if it was: “Waste work” “Necessary work” “Value added” work Was there any instructional leadership? Macro recommendations for this principal?
24 Answer Now! How would you evaluate this day in terms of time management? Ineffective Needs Improvement Proficient Expert 10
25 TIME & PRIORITY MANAGEMENT FROM A. TO J. These parallel the rubric (flip to it) Ten ways of working deeper and smarter Using never-sufficient time most effectively Spending maximum time on the “big rocks” Keeping your sanity - and having a life! I believe that Proficiency or above is essential to getting high student achievement
27 A. HAVE A LASER-LIKE FOCUS ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN
28 To be focused, need The brutal facts: a big-picture look at the school A few “Big Rocks” for the year Masurable goals A theory of action for each Big Rock An action plan for each The ability to say NO to non-rock projects
30 Work expands to fill the time available If you don’t put in the Big Rocks first, you’re screwed. They must displace less important stuff. THAT’S your biggest time management challenge! Most principals are not very good at this.
31 The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. Stephen Covey
32 But what are Big Rocks? 2 or 3 top-priority projects that will best improve teaching and learning this year Start with the school’s mission. It’s simple: Proficiency, on track to college success… Look at nine core leadership tasks, diagnose issues Define 2-3 key priority projects. Not too broad, not too narrow: Goldilocks
33 Nine core leadership tasks 1. Mission & strategy – Achievement, goals, theory of action, big rocks 2. Climate – Safe and humane, students “with the program” 3. Curriculum planning – Clear outcomes, calendar, unit, lesson plans. 4. Resources & operations – Materials, schedule, budget, resources 5. Instruction – Effective teaching in every class through recruitment, hiring, supervision, evaluation, coaching, PD, tough-love feedback 6. During-the-year assessments – Teachers, teams use data well 7. Collaboration and growth – Teams plan, analyze, share, strategize 8. Safety nets – Prompt, effective help for struggling students 9. Parents – Families trust the school, are guided toward effective help
Principals face endless challenges every day: budget issues, facility issues, behavioral issues, and personnel issues. But academic achievement lies at the core of everything that principals do. If unsound academic decisions are made, everything else is for naught. BanutiKafele, 2010 34
35 Zero in on the biggest problems A common mistake - 17 strategic initiatives! Mike Schmoker is really powerful on this. A thorough, shrewd needs assessment No more than 2-3 major projects a year These can cut across the nine core areas See samples of Big Rocks in packet: Literacy, math, advisory
36 Answer Now! In your school, which isthe highest priority area? Mission and strategy Climate and culture Curriculum clarity Resources and operations Instruction During-the-year assessments Collaboration Safety nets Parents 10
37 Third, set measurable goals,work backwards from them If you are really successful this year… What will you celebrate on June 30th? How will you know you’ve succeeded? “Goals that are not measurable are illusory.” A 4-year target is helpful, then SMART goals Sample from Mather School, done in 2001 You might want to set a 2013 target
40 Fourth, research a theory of actionon how to succeed in the priority areas For example Interim assessments to boost performance Writing as a way to raise reading levels Mini-observations to improve teaching Avoid dubious theories of action: Test prep all the time Writing up “dog-and-pony show” lessons Standard professional development workshops
41 Fifth, develop an action plan Break each Big Rock down step-by-step Action steps - “What’s the next step?” Who’s responsible Timeline Assessment and accountability Get the word out Every staff member, student, should know what the Big Rocks and the theory of action are!
42 This IS your strategic plan Long-range targets and SMART goals A theory of action for each 2-3 well-chosen Big Rocks projects Action plans One or two pages long You might have to have one plan for the district and one for real. Just make sure you implement and track real one!
43 Sixth, say NO to non-rock projects Tony Alvarado’s cow story Salesman’s song and dance Brilliant new project from a university Siren song to lose your focus!
44 But relax, be “present” Once you’ve decided on your big rocks… And have clear long-range and short-range plans… You can relax and focus on the here and now. Not guilty about dealing with some little stuff. Still be full-moon days - that’s part of the deal. You’re on your big rocks!
46 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on A? 10 Novice - Each day is driven by events, not long-range goals. Developing - Periodically reminds self of strategic plan and student achievement goal. Proficient - Keeps student achievement and strategic plan in mind every day. Expert - Has a laser-like focus on student achievement and strategic plan for the year.
47 B. MAKE SURE STAFF KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS EXPECTED IN TERMS OF CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION, DISCIPLINE
48 Curriculum and discipline clarity Clear grade-by-grade student learning targets (a must before the year begins!) Common interim assessments for each grade level A school-wide definition of the basics of good teaching Clarity on classroom procedures teachers should use BBC’s? (Lorraine Monroe blackboard configuration) An NYC New Leader fussing at kids in corridor. Routines save huge amounts of reminding, nagging!
49 Answer Now! In your school, do teachers know exactly what their students need to know and be able to do by the end of the year? All do Most do Some do Few do 10
50 A schoolwide approach to discipline Discipline problems consume administrators! “Office junkies.” A hard-wired teacher trait: “Go to the office!” Be pro-active on discipline; use the opening weeks! A schoolwide plan and approach (Fred Jones?) Clear expectations for teachers: 95% of discipline should be handled in classrooms What the office should handle (specific list) Schoolwide non-negotiables
51 Mather School Suspendable OffensesThese are the infractions for which the office must be called:• Possessing a weapon or dangerous object• Assault on a staff member• Serious fighting, injurious assault• Out-of-control behavior, needing restraint• Sexual assault or harassment• Serious threats of bodily harm• In-your-face profanity or racial/ethnic slurs• Fire-setting, serious vandalism or theft• Possessing drugs or other illegal substances• Leaving school grounds without permissionThe office must also be notified if a student is having a psychiatric crisis, needs medication, or discloses abuse.
52 Answer Now! How would you rate your school on B? 10 Novice - Has to constantly remind staff about key instructional and discipline policies. Developing - Often has to remind staff about instructional and discipline policies. Proficient - Most staff know what is expected in instruction and discipline. Expert - Staff know exactly what is expected in classroom instruction and discipline.
53 C. USE A GOOD PERSONAL PLANNING SYSTEM FOR THE YEAR, MONTH, WEEK, & DAY
54 Answer Now! What are you currently using? It’s all in my head Small pocket calendar (paper) Desk calendar (paper) Outlook/ Entourage BlackBerry/Palm Other 10
55 Danger: you don’t get to the hard stuff You’re doing the “easy” tasks, not the Big Rocks You enjoy the freedom of being a free-roving principal, bridle at lists, numerical targets How can you be sure the macro goals get onto the weekly lists? And daily lists? And actually GET DONE?
56 A master list reduces stress Trying to keep it all in your head creates anxiety. What if I forget? What if I drop the ball? David Allen: Write it all down! Get it all out of your head, onto a master list! A total life reminder system Everything from 50,000 feet to the runway Then sort into categories, prioritize Weekly review: a “critical success factor”
57 Effective use of a calendar Key dates, meetings, deadlines, long-term events “Ticklers” to remind you of key events Tasks you assigned to unreliable people Electronic calendars have HUGE advantages Outlook, Entourage, Palm iPhone, etc. Can wirelessly synch with your desktop computer! 43-folder system: one for each month, day of month
58 Highly recommended: Perennial events Things that will predictably come up every year: Birthdays, Secretary’s Day, etc. Items for first parent meeting Interim assessments, data meetings after each Predictably crazy times of year Report card conferences with struggling kids A word-processed list is highly efficient. Constantly add to and edit the list.
60 Outlook/Entourage ideal for perennials For perennial items Something to remember every 3 weeks Something for the first Monday of every month Your mother’s birthday A huge time-saver every year
61 Daily schedule, to-do list Courtney Allison’s hybrid system She did her calendar entries in Outlook Each day, she printed out the calendar for the day To-do list on the side Onto clipboard box with lists inside Took notes on the Outlook page Follow-up at end of the day
62 An alternative: customizeddaily organization sheet Copies stapled onto a piece of cardboard At night, wrote items strategically into the day Next evening, tore off top sheet, started again Helps to prioritize each day: red for highest priorities Constantly referred to it during the day
63 An early version of Kim’s daily organization sheet: what’s wrong with this format?
65 An improved version, customized to the school day
66 How about projects? Each of your “big rocks” is a PROJECT! So are other short-term projects. How does a project get onto your to-do list? Doug Reeves: break them down into discrete tasks Allen: What’s the next step? Covey: Get those tasks into your calendar!
67 Blocking out time If you’re constantly interrupted, you can’t focus Create blocks of time in the daily schedule for: Classroom visits Team meetings Planning meetings Early a.m. or late afternoon for e-mail, returning calls Being there when kids enter, leave; cafeteria
68 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on C? Novice - Has a list in his/her head of what to do that day, but often loses track. Developing - Comes to work with a written to-do list. Proficient - Has weekly and daily to-do lists. Expert - Has an effective personal planning system for the year, month, week, and day.
69 D. SET UP A SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS FOR KEY TEAMS
72 Meetings won’t orchestrate themselves! Get key meetings into everyone’s calendars Leadership team Student Support Team Grade-level or department teams Subject-area curriculum teams Interim assessment, scoring, data meetings School-Site Council Office, custodians, lunch monitors, aides, etc. Also regular retreats for long-range thinking See built-in team meetings Mather schedule
74 The “engine” of high achievement Teacher teams looking at interim assessment data Making decisions about: Untangling student misconceptions Improving strategies Re-teaching Following up with struggling students The opposite of “I taught it, therefore they learned it.” Critical element: principal visiting, monitoring!
76 Teacher time on task Meetings are key - but only rarely should they take teachers away from kids Too many pullouts! Too many absences! Every minute with students counts And that goes for principals too: Being in your building 95% of the time Pushing back on meetings, low-priority events
77 Answer Now! How would you rate you school on D? 10 Novice - Grade-level and other team meetings are called on an ad hoc basis. Developing - Meetings aren’t in people’s calendars and are scheduled each month Proficient - Most team meetings are in people’s schedules. Expert - All teams (grade-level, subject-area, SST, leadership) are scheduled to meet on a regular basis.
78 E. USE A GOOD SYSTEM FOR WRITING THINGS DOWN, PRIORITIZING, & FOLLOWING UP
79 Answer Now! What’s your approach? I’m confident I can remember things. I ask teachers to send me a reminder e-mail or note. I use a BlackBerry or Treo thumbpad or stylus. I always carry pen and paper with me. I haven’t developed a system yet. 10
80 How to remember stuff, find stuff You think you’ll remember - but you won’t. Especially on the fly, under stress, overwhelmed “One thing I’ve learned as an administrator is that if I want to remember to take care of something, I need to write it down.” Wayne Gerke, Alaska assistant principal People stop trusting you - no street cred You gotta write it down! And follow up!! In a place you’re sure you’ll read it later on! And you can’t write it on your hand!
81 But problems with self-concept, fashion “I’m not an organized person.” My Myers-Briggs ends with a P, not a J. I feel like a nerd carrying around lists, etc. This may be your preference… But under stress, your memory goes kaplooey! The stakes are too high! Too much to remember.
82 So what do you carry around? Clipboard? Folder? Portfolio? Covey diary? Cards in shirt pocket? Blackberry on waist? Something to write with, readily accessible. Emergency reminder techniques: beeper, post-it, pad, move watch to other wrist? Women’s fashions make it difficult!
83 BlackBerry or iPhone for note-taking? What they’re best for: Calendar, especially perennial items, birthdays Alarm function Addresses and phone numbers You can do data entry on computer, then synch. How are you using yours? Digital tape recorders?
84 One device for everything? Calendar Perennial items Big-picture goals To-do list Address book E-mail Cell phone Place to take notes Alarm Camera?
85 OK. But will you follow up?The key: sorting stuff into “bins” Hours to process my notes at end of the day. Principals who carry notebooks. When unpack it all?! Have to have a clear sense of where things should go And physically put them there: folders, binders, baskets, cards, computer, handheld, whatever works Efficient processing, organizing of information is key to following up.
86 Ten bins for starters Delegate to your assistant principal Delegate to the school secretary Make an announcement in the morning PA time Put an item in the weekly staff bulletin Discuss in grade-level team meetings Discuss with your leadership team and/or a staff meeting Have a face-to-face conversation with the person Politely say no Drop everything and do it now! Do it in the late afternoon at your desk
87 Answer Now! Which bin? A textbook salesman drops in to talk about a new product Drop everything, do now Delegate to assistant principal Delegate to secretary Face-to-face conversation Morning PA announcements Weekly staff bulletin Discuss in grade-level teams Discuss with leadership team, then staff meeting Politely say no Late afternoon desk work 10
88 Answer Now! One of your teachers earnsNational Board Certification Drop everything, do now Delegate to assistant principal Delegate to secretary Face-to-face conversation Morning PA announcements Weekly staff bulletin Discuss in grade-level teams Discuss with leadership team, then staff meeting Politely say no Late afternoon desk work 10
89 Answer Now! Superintendent arrives for an unexpected visit Drop everything, do now Delegate to assistant principal Delegate to secretary Face-to-face conversation Morning PA announcements Weekly staff bulletin Discuss in grade-level teams Discuss with leadership team, then staff meeting Politely say no Late afternoon desk work 10
90 Answer Now! You get the latest test scoresand the news is not good Drop everything, do now Delegate to assistant principal Delegate to secretary Face-to-face conversation Morning PA announcements Weekly staff bulletin Discuss in grade-level teams Discuss with leadership team, then staff meeting Politely say no Late afternoon desk work 10
91 Answer Now! You want to give a teacher critical feedback after a classroom visit Drop everything, do now Delegate to assistant principal Delegate to secretary Face-to-face conversation Morning PA announcements Weekly staff bulletin Discuss in grade-level teams Discuss with leadership team, then staff meeting Politely say no Late afternoon desk work 10
92 Some additional bins Weekly parent letter Weekly all-student assembly Visit to an individual classroom, talk to the kids Mailbox note to one person Xeroxed mailbox note to a group of people Delegate to the counselor Set up an appointment Mini-questionnaires to staff to get feedback Agenda for next year’s beginning-of-year meeting
93 5x3 cards-in-pocket pre-sorting system Writing notes in ledger, notebook highly inefficient You have to “unpack” them later - or never! During the day, write things directly onto cards: To-do list for the day E-mails to send Staff memo items (yellow card) Items for Friday parent letter (pink card) Blank cards for notes on teacher visits
94 And what if you don’tdo everything on your to-do list? Some people get very stressed Wrong reaction Put fewer things on the list Right reaction Put everything on the list Prioritize Keep at it Only go crazy if you don’t do the Big Rocks
95 Value of a regular staff memo • Weekly is a good frequency. • Everyone reads same information. Operational stuff so staff meetings can focus on teaching & learning Rumor control - same news to all An opportunity to project philosophy, mission Space to share interesting articles, ideas, humor Stress-reducer: a bin to put stuff into
98 What was in the Mather Memo Daily calendar items (Chase’s Calendar of Events) Staff and student birthdays Field trips, suspensions, district circulars Fire drills, lost items, look-fors, reminders Important staff, school news Magazines, workshops, lectures, goodies Notes on key meetings, good workshops, lectures Floating an idea, asking for feedback The pulpit: a lecture from the principal On the back, a professional article, research, etc. Always a cartoon on Friday!
99 Let’s talk about POUT -Putting Off Unpleasant Tasks
100 Which school chores do you avoid? Financial? Angry letters? Employee discipline? • We tend to shy away from stuff that’s difficult for us. A tendency to avoid the major tasks Teacher evaluation, long-range strategic planning Work avoidance can get very creative. There’s always plenty of “easy” stuff to do Reacting to the urgent and immediate
Arousal - adrenaline rush waiting till the last minute
Avoidance - excuse for not doing difficult task
Decisional - chronically indecisive in all parts of life
“People procrastinate when they’re not confident that they can complete a project, when they find it boring or distasteful, and when they’re impulsive.” E-mail, cell phones, social networking, the Web “50 percent of the time people are online, they are procrastinating.” Timothy Pychyl, 2009
103 First, analyze Why do you hate doing it? e.g., writing up an ineffective teacher Physical discomfort? Emotional discomfort? Too big a challenge? Lack resources? Fear you’ll lose control? Ask: Would we feel OK about not doing it? If no, what’s the next action? *Getting Things Done by David Allen (2001)
104 Then do it! Confront yourself: Use shame. Do the worst first -will power - and finish it. Block out time, action steps, start time, deadline Use tricks Eric Dawson’s (Peace Games) hat ritual Reward yourself when you’re done. Check in with a critical friend
105 Touch each piece of paper only once? Kofi Annan at the U.N. - a totally clean desk! But few principals have the staff to pull this off. Lorraine Munroe: People before paper! Compromise: a “first pass” using the 15-second rule: Two or three times a day, zip through the in-basket. If it can’t be signed, delegated, or tossed in 15seconds, straight into the PM pile! David Allen’s flowchart:
106 Do it? Delegate it? Ditch it? Save it? When does it have to be done? Creative insubordination? Set an “action-forcing deadline” “Just in time” management Blocking out time for paperwork, filing Appropriate evening, weekend work? Suggestion: color-coded traveling files Open files on desk for schedule ideas, next year, opening staffmeeting, assemblies, macro ideas - at your fingertips!
109 Filing: putting stuff where you can find it Being able to put your hands on stuff! “A place for everything; everything in its place” The power of collecting ideas in one place… Folder people and binder people - whatever works Can your secretary handle this? If not… Filing is the most tedious task of all, but vital. Saturday once a month, with good music!
110 E-mail can kill you! More than 100 a day - drowning! Yes, it’s efficient (amazing thumb wizards). But the beauty is it’s asynchronous. Constantly checking e-mail is ego-deflating. It undermines focus and concentration Checking BlackBerry also insults others (Obama) And it’s inefficient!
111 Does your computer have an audible tone when a new e-mail comes in? Answer Now! Yes No 10
112 The road to e-mail sanity Turning off the #!? audible tone! Consider an auto-response message: I will respond… Chunk all e-mail into 1-2 efficient time-blocks a day. Focus, respond in full. Try for 24-hour response, clear desktop every day, file Develop decision rules: Do, delegate, delete “Two of your best friends in time management are the delete key and the trash can.” (Chris Hitch, 2008)
113 Five reasons to chunk e-maila.m. or p.m., outside the student day You can be a people person during the day. You can focus better on the Big Rocks. It trains your contacts to use e-mail correctly. It’s more satisfying - lots of mail feels good. It’s more efficient: you have the time or energy to deal decisively with everything, clear desktop.
114 Pros and cons of a home office Some prefer to finish work at school, leave later. Some like to split the day: leave earlier, relax for a while, then do quality work later in evening. Relaxed work on Saturday catching up, or… Coming in earlier on Monday morning takes care of the download, saves a trip Either way, we have to set limits! My recent discovery of synching e-mail, calendar…
117 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on E? Novice - Trusts memory to retain important things, but sometimes forgets and drops the ball. Developing - Tries to write things down but is swamped and sometimes doesn’t follow up. Proficient - Always writes down important things and follows up on the most critical. Expert - Has a foolproof system for writing things down, prioritizing, and following up. 10
118 F. PUT COMPETENT PEOPLE IN KEY ROLES AND DELEGATE MAXIMUM RESPONSIBILITY TO THEM
119 You want to do it yourself, but… If your staff can do it, they should do it! Let it go! Put competent self-starters in key positions: Classroom teachers, building substitute Secretary, Assistant Principal, Dean Student Support Coordinator Identify, train, and empower teacher leaders. “Gradual release of responsibility” Time spent hiring well pays off big-time!
120 But there are some thingsyou should do yourself Being out front to greet students in the morning Being in the cafeteria some of the time Dismissal time Key athletic and dramatic events Being there for people who’ve lost loved ones And it’s important to be in the building 95% of the time - push back on outside meetings.
121 Hands-off <<<>>>Micromanagement Two extremes, equally problematic Trust in competent people the key And what about collecting, inspecting lesson plans 24,500 a year in a school of 35 teachers Far better use of time to critique and discuss teachers teams’ curriculum unit plans (only about 160 a year)
122 Teacher teams, teacher leaders Teams doing unit planning, interim data analysis Scheduling team time is crucial! Same-subject, same-course teachers 4th grade, Algebra, World History Then giving a clear charge to the teams (otherwise, field trip planning and complaining) Dropping in frequently, getting reports
123 Have people around you who arenot afraid to tell you the truth People who can speak truth to power. Not afraid to tell you you’re messing up. Of warn you if you’re walking off a cliff. This must be made explicit. “Tell me what I don’t want to hear!” With a suggested plan of action
125 What if your school is understaffed? This is a macro, structural problem. Something to check out before you take the job: Enough administrative and secretarial support? SAM concept - School administrative manager If not, there will be a tough transition period Put your head down Keep working on getting appropriately staffed.
126 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on F? Novice - Key staff people are not competent and principal must do everything him- or herself. Developing - Hesitates to delegate because of mixed competence of staffers. Proficient - Gives responsibility to staffers, who are mostly competent. Expert - Delegates maximum responsibility to highly competent staffers. 10
127 G. GET INTO CLASSROOMS AND GIVE TEACHERS FEEDBACK
128 It’s hard to get into classrooms A huge problem for principals nationwide Many feel guilty about not doing this. A paradigm problem: Full write-ups for many teachers---->very few visits “Write-ups are a weak to medium lever for improving teaching” (Jon Saphier, 2008) Except when firing an ineffective teacher But what’s the alternative?
129 Saints, cynics, and sinners Saints spend 8+ hours per teacher Pre-observation conference, observation, write-up, post-conference Cynics bang out observations/evaluations Don’t think they’ll make much difference… Sinners don’t do them (except when the heat is on) Usually get away with it. The evidence…
Answer Now! In which category would you put yourself? Saint Cynic Sinner 10
131 The $64,000 question Could a saint’s school have low student achievement? Could a sinner’s school have high achievement? What does this tell us?
Mini-observations: systematic,frequent sampling of teaching Short visits to fit them in to very busy days Unannounced to see what kids are experiencing daily Lots of them to learn more, blend in (Kareem’s question) Prompt, thoughtful feedback to each teacher Informal and low-stakes for maximum adult learning Systematic cycling through the whole staff 133
135 But how much can you see in 5-10 minutes? Let’s watch 5 minutes of a class. Reflect on what you see. Think about your “teaching point” to the teacher. And your opening 30 seconds Pair off: one be the teacher, one the principal Role-play the follow-up conversation
136 Was this enough time to get a sense of what was going on in the classroom? Answer Now! Yes No 10
139 Answer Now! Could you have a substantive follow-up conversation with the teacher? Yes No 10
140 Answer Now! If you made 10-12 unannounced visits like this, would you have an accurate picture of this teacher’s performance? Yes No 10
But 8 ways mini-observations can fizzle Not staying long enough to gather helpful information Making too few visits for a productive dialogue Lacking a clear sense of what to look for Not having a system for capturing key insights Not giving feedback in a way teachers can learn from Not orchestrating full-lesson observations Not using them to foster schoolwide improvement Mishandling the link to end-of-year evaluations
Is there any other way to accomplish this? Knowing what’s going on in classrooms: “at the pool” Feedback that’s low-key, credible, and helpful Building trust between you and teachers “Cross-pollinating” from teacher to teacher Spotting teachers who are having trouble, need support Seeing students in action, data for chats, parent talks “Situational awareness” - knowing the whole school Impressively informed for team, governance meetings Lots of insights for year-end teacher evaluations
144 Mini-observations >> high achievement? I thought at first that mini-observations would do it Nope. They are necessary but not sufficient Great schools, research have convinced me you need 3 complementary, synergistic items: Backwards curriculum unit planning by teams Interim assessments, data analysis, follow-up Quality coaching of teachers, focused on results See my book for the full story
145 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on G? Novice - Too busy, rarely visits classrooms. Developing - Tries to get into classrooms, but many days doesn’t succeed. Proficient - Gets into some classrooms each day and gives personal feedback to each teacher visited. Expert - Visits 3-5 classroom a day and gives face-to-face feedback to each teacher within 24 hours. 10
146 H. USE GOOD STRATEGIES TO PREVENT OR DEFLECT TIME-WASTING CRISES & ACTIVITIES
147 Crises take LOTS of time, energy “Jackass” story A classic waste work situation Prevention is the name of the game! Being vigilant, proactive Being sharp and fresh Sixth sense; eyes in the back of your head
148 A sitting principal is a sitting duck! “Got a minute?” Be out and about! Do stand-up meetings. “Structure” the agenda for meetings, ABC Outsmart the time-wasters! Some tricks: One-page directions to school ready to fax Avoid unproductive times of day (late p.m.?) Pan-scrubbing and subway platform time use Multi-task (within reason!)
150 A balance: task-oriented, yet human Driven, on mission Yet not a cold-hearted, uncaring monomaniac! Warm/strict, caring, accessible Good listeners Taking care of the little things.
151 Stroll! Autumn Tooms article (Kappan 2003) She walked briskly through halls, active, purposeful A visitor told that teachers thought she was angry “Had I told anyone I was angry? No. Had anyone ever asked if I was angry? No.” She got the message, made a point of slowing down. Wrote STROLL on back of office door, walkie-talkie Still got a lot done, was still driven by her mission… But staff no longer thought she was angry at them!
152 Knowing when to drop everything Wisdom of knowing what needs attention, like, NOW! A child is seriously injured. A teacher’s parent dies Have to stop whatever you’re doing! That’s time management, too. A meta-skill: knowing what trumps the routine
153 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on H? Novice - Large amounts of each day are consumed by crises and time-wasters. Developing - Tries to prevent them, but crises and time-wasters eat up big chunks of time. Proficient - Quite good at preventing or deflecting crises and time-wasting activities. Expert - Uses effective strategies for preventing almost all crises and time-wasters. 10
154 I. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, INCLUDING FAMILY, HEALTH, EXERCISE, SLEEP, & VACATIONS.
155 This job’s not for the faint-hearted Good principals work 60-80 hours a week. “The bottom line is that the work life of a school principal is depleting. Depletion of leadership leads to depletion of faculty, of school, of community, and ultimately of the learning experience of students.” (Roland Barth, 1991) Setting limits is crucial. So is taking care of yourself!
156 Fueling yourself, building stamina Four resources (Jerry Patterson, 2007): Physical energy Emotional energy Mental energy Spiritual energy Need to constantly top up your tank on all four Another insight: success feeds your energy! Small wins, progress, high-yield activities When things are working, you bound out of bed!
157 Covey: “Sharpening the saw” You can’t be afraid to work hard! First year will be a marathon. There will be crunch times, crises, all-nighters. All the more reason to work smart! Food, exercise, sleep build strength, reduce stress. Being sharp and fresh, on your toes Intensity followed by breaks! (Loehr, Schwartz) Key to creativity, perspective, sense of humor
158 Sanity rituals Exercising every Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday? Watching a movie every Friday night Leaving work early every Tuesday, Thursday? Meditation once a day? Sports, concerts, art, the great outdoors, fun Calling someone you care about on the way home Lunch with a key staff person every Wednesday Regular time to be with students Happy birthday wishes to kids, staff
159 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on I? 10 Novice - Neglects family, rarely exercises, doesn’t sleep enough, and is in poor health. Developing - Family, health, exercise, sleep, and vacations are suffering because of job. Proficient - Tries hard to balance job with family, health, exercise, sleep, and vacations. Expert - Takes care of self, including family, health, exercise, sleep, vacations.
160 J. REGULARLY EVALUATE PROGRESS AND WORK ON CONTINOUS IMPROVEMENT
161 Reflection as part of your planning ritual How do you decide if it’s been a good day? A journal, diary (daily? weekly?); regular reflection Look at long-term goals, week’s goals, assess progress Decide on where to put time and energy next week. Is anything that needs to be thrown out? Quarterly, do the time management audit or rubric. Look at the year’s game plan, measure progress. End of year, 20 most salient items - fun to look back at
A good day – how many? Early-morning e-mailing, paperwork, calls Out front greeting colleagues, students, and parents Touching base with leadership team, secretary 3-4 mini-observations Face-to-face feedback to several teachers Visiting a teacher team doing unit planning Visiting a team looking at data and student work Overseeing operations, monitoring staff, solving problems Keeping an eagle eye on the Big Rocks Cafeteria time and other interaction with students A “difficult conversation” with a student, a teacher Out front at dismissal, informal chats, unwinding Late afternoon e-mailing and paperwork 162
163 Answer Now! How would you rate yourself on J? Novice - Occasionally berates self for not accomplishing long-range goals. Developing - Tries to keep track of how he/she is doing on goals. Proficient - Periodically reviews how he/she is doing on weekly goals and tries to do better. Expert - Regularly evaluates progress toward goals and works for continuous improvement. 10
164 Self-assessment, action plan Fill out the rubric, highlighting 4-3-2-1 levels. Look over the areas that need development. Take the time management audit (next slide). Zero in on your three weakest areas, reflect on them. Think about your inner reaction (“I could never do this stuff!” “That’s just not me.” “I’m not that organized.”) Write specific action steps to improve in each area. Do the rubric again later in a different color; progress?
165 A time management audit How do you keep your overall game plan in your face every week? What does your to-do list look like? When do you write it? How many classrooms to you aim to visit every day? How do you follow up? How you do keep from forgetting an important meeting at a particular time? How do you make sure you follow up on a request a teacher gave you on the fly? How do you remember a great idea you had as you walked down the hall? Your boss calls, she’s coming at 11:35 Tuesday. How do you remember? Your mentor sends you 10 visit dates for the year. How do you remember? You have 25 unread e-mails. When do you respond to them? What do you do with e-mails you’ve responded to? With sent e-mails? When do you do routine paperwork? How do you make yourself do odious tasks? How do you make sure a time-sensitive report gets in on Tuesday? How do you store and retrieve a neat idea for next year’s opening staff meeting? How do you keep track of important birthdays? National Secretary’s Day? How do you keep track of something you must do on the first day of each month? How do you remember to see a teacher before you leave today?
166 WRAPPING UP Nobody’s perfect; H.P.S.P. is always in the wings. It’s a question of “recovering”, not “recovered”! There will still be crazy days. Hang in there! Apply these principles! Time management is KEY to student achievement! Small wins will feed your energy, confidence, success. Fired up? Ready to go!