The sands of time

In my last post I was pondering the opening day that will soon arrive and what it will look like. George posted his thoughts about the first day with teachers and the importance of giving them time. In my response to George, I mentioned that time is precious, like water in the desert.

Teacher first, administrator second

My administrative career has spanned 9 years in 7 different schools where I’ve been required to teach. My first principal position was one where I was principal of two schools – blocks apart – and taught 2 classes. These experiences have influenced my administrative practices and how I use the time I have with staff. My biggest concern as a teacher was that most of the time at a staff meeting was spent on things that, really, were informational items. So, as an administrator, I’ve used a wiki to organize and disseminate information to staff. Now I use a wiki for several reasons but the biggest reason is because I also want staff to adding information to the site, contributing to what is going on. Another reason is that there is a calendar option where all events linked to the school can be posted and updated. This means that whatever is happening at the school can be accessed by all staff from anywhere not just on a calendar on someone’s desk. I try to eliminate the need for time-eating meetings and memos by using the tools to save time.

This is the front page of the wiki I used last year. Meeting notes, staff meeting information, team meetings and other information was posted and accessible for all staff.

Another way I try to help teachers and not take up valuable time is through the creation of a school diigo group where staff can share links to sites and articles and build a resource base for PD and for their own interests.

School Diigo Group

This site can be used in a number of ways from teachers sharing online information about subjects to building a pool of PD resources that are directly related to the PD focus for the school or for individual teachers. I also like the Diigo setup because it allows teachers to create a class site where students can share online information and have discussions about the information that is posted – sharing ideas and collaborating on tasks and building their search skills as they have to explain why a particular link is worth someone’s time.

Time – there’s no going back – it’s not a commercial!


As an educational leader, I have to very conscious of how I impact the time of those people with whom I work. I need to make sure that what I am doing is allowing them to have the maximum impact on students so whether it’s time for meetings, individual discussions, PD or other school activities one of my main roles is to ensure that the precious commodity of time isn’t wasted in telling people what they could read on their own – or maybe listen to on their own. Next project, audio memos!


  1. Reply

    Great points Kelly!
    I had to go with delicious rather than diigo because Diigo is blocked in China but the idea is similar… help teachers find ways to help each other.
    I’ve been struggling with my opening week plan as I have teachers for a week before school but I also have a new building that we just moved into. It will be a delicate balance between meeting time and free time to get things set up but after reading your post(s) and George’s, I think I’ll error on the side of giving teachers more time and digitally communicating more than I had originally planned. Thanks for the post!

    • Reply

      Dave, Good to hear from you. Moving always creates upheaval whether it be a family or school. Having had my own experiences moving, we just moved again this summer for the 10th time, I know how important it is for people to “find their space” within the new building. Right now we are waiting for our new school to be finished – we should move in November. We are combining two schools into one so until then I will be principal for both the schools – this time I do have a vp to assist me! So we start the year as two but then marry the two schools into one later. Part of my planning is dealing with two separate buildings and what do we do until the move, what should we be doing before we move, what do we do for culture building and so on. It will be an interesting year but one that holds so much promise and excitement.

      Hope you have a great start to your year. Keep us posted on how things are going for you and your family! Best of luck during your back to school week!

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