The subject of the December 1 #ALedchat was “Organization Made Easy.” One of the questions we discussed was: “What are the biggest time wasters you see in education?” Here are several responses and the commentary I would like to add.

How many faculty meetings consist of someone telling the group something they could just as easily have read? Most of what people are “told” in those meetings generally has to do with the management aspects of running the school rather than strategies for helping students learn.

It looks like this school has found an answer to calling meetings to simply tell people things.

When I became a principal, the school system was just beginning to have email capability, and solutions to communication problems involved paper. The “Friday Memo” was my answer. A one-page memo which appeared in teacher mailboxes each Friday morning, the Friday Memo told the faculty and staff everything they needed to know about the week ahead. Reminders about bus duty, congratulations on faculty/staff birthdays, announcements, a motivational quote, or a link to a great professional development resource were among the topics covered on the Friday Memo. I cannot tell you how many faculty meetings we did not have because everything was covered in the Friday Memo.

My last year as a principal, I traded the Friday Memo for a blog. Every week, a single blog post provided all of the needed information. It offered a number of advantages over the paper-based Friday Memo:

  • The blog could be accessed from anywhere.
  • The blog posts were always available. Any teacher could go back to any post no matter how early in the year.
  • The blog allowed me to embed links. Teachers no longer had to re-key URLs from the Friday Memo in order to visit a website I was referencing.
  • The blog allowed me to insert pictures and video.

Even though I left that principalship almost 10 years ago, you can still visit that blog to this day. Go to GrahamSchool.blogspot.com. You can also visit its companion, a blog for parents, by going to GrahamSchool.blogspot.com.

What are the biggest time-wasters you see? Let me know in a comment. Or, come over to my Facebook page and tell me what you think.

Stay tuned for more tips based on the #ALedchat. If you would like to join in the fun, #ALedchat happens every Monday at 9:00PM CST.