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Education Opinion

Mondays are Bad Enough without Rain

By Roslyn Johnson Smith, Ph.D. — October 23, 2007 1 min read

Yesterday was a rainy Monday. It was also a terrible day that included tornado warnings, street flooding, and heavy thunderstorms. I was very happy to be able to remain inside my house. It’s one of the joys of retirement. But after the storms passed, we had a cold front today with much lower temperatures. So many things went wrong at school today that I remembered what it was like to be a principal when the seasons changed. It drove the kids nuts. But, today everyone was nuts.

I won’t go into the details but I will say that with each hour of the day, more bad news kept popping up. It was hard to decide what to do first. I applied one of Roslyn’s Rules of Administration. Here’s an explanation and an example:

Rule: When you have lots of tasks competing for your attention, decide which tasks are necessary, which ones are important, and which ones are urgent. Urgent tasks always trump important and/or necessary tasks. When problems involve parents, teachers or students, students always come first.

Example: I had to decide whether to focus on one of three problems today. 1) The report cards for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten had to be picked up from the print shop. Report card conferences are Thursday. 2) The photographer forgot to take pictures for IDs and cumulative folders, only taking pictures of students who wanted to purchase his photo packages. 3) Two staff members got into an ugly argument which was witnessed by several parents.

Readers, which of these problems do you think I addressed and why? Please comment. I’ll tell you what happened tomorrow.

The opinions expressed in Starting Over: A Post-Katrina Education are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.