At our opening day staff meeting, teachers individually chose a word to be their focus for the year. Many teachers picked “balance” as their word. After my first three days of school as a principal I am thinking that word would have been a good one for me to focus on too. I am already seeing many situations in which finding a balance will be key to being successful.
I knew going into this new position that each day would bring the unexpected, but I am quickly seeing that finding balance between addressing issues that arise unexpectedly and doing what I had planned will prove to be a challenge. I am a planner. I love planning and feeling like I am intentionally allocating my time. I am going to have to find a way to balance being in the classrooms, addressing people’s needs, interacting with students in the cafeteria, and getting desk work done. I didn’t get into classrooms as much as I wanted these first few days, which (I imagine) is a common challenge among principals, but I didn’t think I would be feeling that pull in the first three days of school.
I think one of the things I need to do is to plan my time specifically in chunks. (Here I go– planning again!) Time in classrooms from x to x, time to work on this task from y to y, and so on. Then I can reflect at the end of the day on what got finished and what needs to be carried over to the next day. If I am not super intentional and prioritize WHAT needs to be done each day, I will run the risk of doing what I have these first few days–being in reactive mode all day then staying after school way too late to get done what HAS to be done before the next day. Staying too late will not be good in the long run and will throw me off balance in the family, health, and spiritual parts of my life. I know when I get off balance, the part of my life I am giving the most energy to ultimately suffers, as well.
Regardless of how each day turns out, being reflective will serve me well. I know I will make many mistakes this first year. This is great news because being reflective will allow me to grow from those mistakes instead of allowing them to dampen my spirit. I should see tons of growth this year!