The Gift of Time

Leadership20 – in our last session Pat Bohnet talked about admin giving teachers the gift of time. Things are busy. We all know that in addition to teaching, there’s lots of other things on our plates.

We need to do what we can as leaders to respect the time of teachers, and to make time a gift we give to them. These are some of the things that I am doing. (Number two doesn’t get done nearly as much as I would like)

  1. Whenever possible allocate subs that aren’t being used to another classroom. I am not talking about preps. There are times when a sub is in for one of us as Administrators that we aren’t in the class. Survey the needs of the teachers and provide those that could use an extra block to get caught up, or to provide in class help where needed.
  2. Offer to take a class. We don’t have time to do this everyday, but doing something like this once in a while would go a long way in recognizing the value of the classroom teacher.
  3. Allocate resources with this in mind. I am using some of the AISI money we were given as schools to allow teachers to collaborate around Literacy. (Our project is around Literacy and Guided Reading). I am not sure how far it will go, but I hope to be able to do this about 6 times throughout the year.
  4. Keep meetings as short as possible. My goal is to have the administration/report giving the shortest part of staff meeting. I don’t want to hear myself drone on, I can’t imagine anyone else enjoying it at all.
  5. Balance ideas around Shared Leadership with a “IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME” philosophy. Don’t expect anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. 
  6. Never lose track of what it’s like in the classroom. We have to take time to be in the classroom, not just observing, but taking classes once in a while.
  7. Take time to celebrate. Be with your staff, listen to their stories and share stories with them. Greet staff and let them know you have time for them.
  8. Work Smarter – do you need to have a meeting? Do you need to send that email? Don’t waste people’s time with information that they have to sort through only to find it doesn’t pertain to them.
  9. Keep looking for time wasting activities. Last year we found that we added a LOT of great things to the end of the year, but May and June ended up being way more stressful just because there were so many interruptions.
  10. Listen… what are teachers saying? What activities are taking too much time? What activities do they need more time for. Make it so that they can do their job, and get out of the way so great things can happen.

Time is a precious commodity – show that you value teachers by respecting the time they share with students.

Darryl Propp


  1. Pingback: The Learning Principal
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