During my career, I had many opportunities to learn from others and evaluate my daily efforts. It was the work with the Wallace Foundation that helped to point out to me how you can take control of the day or let the day control you.
It is great to have a to-do list of things you want to accomplish each day. However, if you are going through the day trying to check off the tasks on your list, what are you truly accomplishing?
As I entered the administrative world, I wanted feedback on my efforts. I designed an evaluation to give to staff to perform on me. This evaluation would guide me in my growth as a leader. I conducted the same review every year of my career to keep consistency. I found this to be helpful. When the Wallace Foundation came in to help, we began to track my daily calendar and how my time was utilized each day. This allowed me to identify areas to improve. Very eye-opening in how my days were spent.
In order to accomplish your tasks at the same time you are focused on overall growth for staff and students, you have to have a strong system built to support your goals. If you do not have a system in place, the checking off of a list may be accomplished with no depth to lead to growth.
One of the best tools to add to your system is reflection lined with questions! At the end of each day, take the time to reflect on what was accomplished. Ask these reflection questions so you can use this data to establish your goals for the next day:
- What worked well today?
- What is one thing we could focus on to improve?
- How will I do things differently tomorrow?
- What is one new thing tried today?
- What was something I learned today?
These reflective questions will help guide you in preparing others in reflective practices, learning plans, and engaging conversations of enrichment. We will stay in place if we never stretch ourselves to reach the next level. Setting the bar to check off tasks, you will fail not to set goals, but in the system, you did not embrace. I know this is credible by the work of the Wallace Foundation and the SAM’s project. https://www.wallacefoundation.org/principal-story/pages/sam-project.aspx
Good intentions, inspiration, motivation, and to-do lists are great things to have as you move forward. I still do all of those things; it is just who I am. However, it is the focused foundation of a system to provide the gain the growth you need from staff and students to see the success you work so hard to achieve.
Reach out if you need help with this coming school year. There are plenty of resources you can utilize for free or you can purchase from others to help you continue to grow. Thank you for being the solution daily.