Office Guilt

I call this my “WKCE Cave”

We’ve just completed state testing in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean I’m done yet.  I’ve hardly been in classrooms the past 2 weeks due to testing (as the District Assessment Coordinator I organize testing for MS/HS too), but now I still have make-up testing and then the time consuming task of getting the tests ready to ship back.

Among all of this, I have realized that I never scheduled my #NoOfficeDay.  My point of #NoOfficeDay was to not only be in classrooms, but to also be a part of teaching in classrooms.  Unfortunately, with testing and everything else to do I’ve hardly been in classrooms at all and it gives me tremendous office guilt.
As a teacher, I never did any sort of my own work whenever there were students in the classroom, because my time with them was precious. I took this mentality with me to my role as principal and always feel like I should be out of the office during the time that students/teachers are in the building.  As much as I love that mentality, it’s just not reality with the amount of paperwork that we have to do as principals.  As much as I try to focus on people during the school day and paperwork at night, that mentality would mean midnight every night for me to catch up and I would still never catch up. I have learned this is not healthy (believe me, I’ve tried it!).

My office guilt is a wake-up call for me to put what I’ve learned from Getting Things Done and other tips learned from my GTD Gurr Admin Colleagues (Curt and Justin) back into practice that I have been letting slip as the state tests took over my life. This starts with scheduling everything in advance…blocking out big chunks of time in my calendar for classroom time (this time also includes for conversations with teachers) and blocking out office time.  When I schedule the office time, I also need to schedule what I need to accomplish during those times.  I’ve been pretty good at utilizing my “Tickler file”, however, I have been just moving stuff from day to day, not actually accomplishing much from each folder.  I am also going to think about my “open door policy” after reflecting on this post by Scott Elias. 

Finally, for my sanity, this post got me to turn off my technology for 2 Saturdays in a row. (I know… this is hard to believe that I actually did it, but I swear I did and it was WONDERFUL!!)

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