I was visited by a young vice-principal yesterday who was chatting with a number of the ‘veterans’ (I like that term WAY better than ‘the old guys’) as she worked to glean some knowledge from those of us who have been in the business for a while. One of her questions was about time management and how I planned my day as an administrator. I’m afraid my immediate response was laughter.
Ironically, a day after her visit became ‘one of those days’ with a whack of things happening at the school and a few surprises that keep our jobs interesting and why the term ‘time management’ always brings a smile to the faces of building administrators (and teacher, for that matter).
An accident on the freeway delayed three of our staff members so I was delegated to deal with a grade five class until the teacher arrived. While we waited for the opening bell to ring, I was showing a substitute Teaching Assistant around the school as it was her first time in our building and TA assignments can be, at times, daunting. Immediately following the ‘welcoming’ bell, a teacher races up to me in quite a panic. ‘There’s a HUGE tarantula on my ceiling and I’M not dealing with it!’ As I’m on my way to deal with 30 grade five students I tell her I’d be back as quickly as possible. I get an ‘I’m sure you will’ look from her as I duck around the corner. (I don’t like spiders, either).
So, giving quick instructions to the surprised kids at the grade five door to get inside, put their student planners on their desks, do some Speed Games activities in the computer lab, and I’d be right back. Racing back to the classroom expecting to see one of my staff members wrestling with a huge arachnid, I’m informed that the Hand In Hand Daycare lady had already dealt with the problem. Needing no more information than that, I head back to the computer lab hoping that 30 preteens weren’t tearing the place apart. All is good.
From there, the rest of the day went past in kind of a blur. For those in education I’ll share a few scary phrases: “In Day”, “Report Cards”, “Computer Issues”, “Audit” and “I’m not feeling well”. You mix that in with mystery report cards from another school printing on our photocopier, setting up for Movie Night, and wondering who really does keep putting paper towels in the urinals, and you’ve got the basic reasons why my first response to the young lady’s question about Time Management was laughter.
Never a dull moment. Never write in your day planner in ink. Expect the unexpected. It’s a great job with no two days the same. But Time Management? I don’t think so. Now, what was I supposed to be doing this morning???