My first day in the life post demonstrated one type of work day for me, in my current role as a district administrator. Because each day can be so different, I decided to capture a different day. I wish I had done this when I was a site principal- it would be interesting to look back on those days now!
I decided to track an “office day” for my second day in the life of a district administrator post. While my favorite work involves me being at sites, witnessing student learning, participating in coaching conversations, there is a part of my job that requires me to complete work staring at a computer screen. This is a snapshot of one of those days.
6:00 AM – No work out for me this morning, as I didn’t leave work until 9 pm last night. I attended our amazing District Band and Orchestra concert, which was worth it!
7:45 – Arrive to my office on a gloomy gray May day. All three of my coordinators and two of our team secretaries are out today, so it is a dark and quiet office (with only two secretaries with me all day). I turn on my computer and get settled at my stand-up desk to begin my day. standMy calendar is wide open (a day with no official meetings is rare!) and so today is the day to check many items off my to-do list.
8:30 – I transition to my seated desk to give my sore legs a rest. This morning I have compiled a list of all of the feedback we have received from teachers regarding our CCSS ELA and Math units of study and district assessments throughout the year. I am posting a chart with each comment and our team’s response to the feedback for all teachers to see. So often, we ask people to provide feedback and they never know if we’ve read their comments or why we didn’t act on something. These feedback and response charts help us communicate how feedback was received and if a suggestion was not followed, why.
9:45 – It’s time for a break from the computer screen. I am a coffee-addict trying to cut back, so I opt for herbal tea this morning. By now, I’ve sent my draft of feedback and responses out to my team and I’m reviewing their comments. I respond to various emails and do a quick clean out of my computer files.
10:00 – On days like these, I tend to be ADD in my work. I started a search for resources related to coaching cycles for an upcoming newsletter to the coaches I support. From there, I spun into some research on writing instruction and plans for revising some of our ELA units of study. Next the internet rabbit hole led me to check on Twitter and some educational blogs for additional resources related to coaching, writing, and integrated technology support. These searches then remind me that a day like today is the perfect time to open my electronic leadership journal and do some written reflection.
I have blogged about the value of reflection in my personal and professional life a lot. It’s sad that on my busiest work days, I do not leave time for reflection. But I try to always take the opportunity when I have an office day!
12:00 – Lunch time! Today I actually stepped away from my work computer and did some personal reading and listening to music while I enjoyed a salad for lunch. This included listening to two song excerpts I recorded at the concert last night- we have some talented musicians in our midst!
12:30 – A work colleague had an opening in her calendar, so we met to brainstorm some professional learning and curriculum revisions. On a quiet, isolated day, I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with smart friends more than ever!
1:00 – This afternoon brought some budget work, an impromptu conversation with my boss (who stopped by my office on one of her breaks), and some time organizing professional resources. I pulled out all of my professional books on writing instruction for some upcoming work. It was fun to revisit books that were my guides when I was a teacher and an instructional coach. I was also able to have some much-needed face-to-face conversations with my assistant, as well as with a colleague in the Finance Department. I also wrote an article for an upcoming issue of our district newsletter to all staff. During the afternoon I used both my stand-up desk and my table to work sitting down.
I think people might be surprised by the amount of reading I do on a typical day like today. I read for MANY HOURS today – in the form of emails, websites, calendars, blogs, tweets, books, magazine articles, board policies, curriculum, and more!
4:00 – I left earlier than normal today to go to a personal appointment. This is just another small glimpse into a day in the life of a district administrator.
What are your days like?