I love my job (well…most days!) and the work that I do. As a school leader and curriculum coordinator, I enjoy planning units of inquiry with our teachers, hearing about the students’ learning, insights, comments, and action, and further developing the curriculum. The meaningful work energizes me, spurring me on to do more and do better than the day before. But lately, the tedious things, the stuff that has to be done to keep a school running (especially during a pandemic) has worn me down.
I’m busy all the time, but I don’t seem to make any headway on my big projects or the stuff that really matters. The hours are taken up by administrative tasks, such as finding cover for the sick teachers who are out, creating and adding to the daily bulletins, making schedules for this or that, editing reports, EMAILS!, and the list goes on. Not to mention we are still hiring for next year. While finding the right people for our team is crucial to our success next year, the time it takes to sift through applications and search for candidates online, correspond with said candidates, interview, and follow up with references is incredible. More and more I feel like my calendar, inbox, and head are overflowing, leaving little room for much else.
I have ideas and plans and hopes and aspirations, ways to make my teachers’ lives easier and the curriculum more engaging and robust. But when can I get to all of it? I’ve never been the best at prioritizing. I tend to put out the fires right in front of me, rather than stepping back to see if this is something that really needs my attention right now. As I looked ahead at the calendar today, I realized there are only two and a half months left in school. Two and a half months!!! But I have way more than two and a half months worth of work left to do.
I know I need to take a step back, look at the big picture, prioritize what has to get done, what I would like to get done, and what simply won’t get done, and make a plan for the rest of the year, but when do I have time to do this? My problems aren’t unique. Many of us (okay, most of us) in education feel this way; there’s never enough time to do it all. Is there anyone out there who’s figured it out? Any words of wisdom or magic pills you can offer up?