TExES 268 and Comp Eight: Effective Administrative Planning

During my monthly webcast for student reviewing for the TExES 268, this area of inquiry has been battered around on our chat boards. The answers are not simple. Time is the monster within the equation of setting goals and plans for meeting schedules for the modern Texas Principal.

With the development of the recent push for the principal being not only the organizational leader of the ever-growing campus but also the all-important instructional leader, the premium of time has reared its ugly head. The gradual growth of the “mega-schools” at the middle school and high school level has created a new administrative ideal. The new Texas administrator must not only keep the large organization moving but also lead-instructionally. Mandated walk-throughs, evaluations, scheduled meetings with teachers, parents, students, district personnel, community leaders, and staff fill every slot within the administrative calendar. This growth of “professional meetings,” has developed the need for a well trained and much requested administrative assistant to keep a “handle” on daily activities, movement, and responsibilities of the administrator. Now, place within that scheduling nightmare the critical need to have meetings with the administrative staff and for all practical purposes, there is no more time.

Comp 8 — Uses effective planning, time management, and organization of work to support attainment of the school district and campus goals

Planning meetings and events is a job function that requires skills and knowledge of the modern building administrator. Meeting and planning are seen as a task that an administrative professional can take on in addition to their other workload. The lack of comprehension by the administrative professionals on how meetings are run can have a significant impact on the meeting. From an efficiency perspective, time is everything. A campus administrator will often attempt meetings when their faculty and staff are least productive, therefore wasting time and effort
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The Best Day to Efficiently Conduct a Meeting:

When to conduct an administrative or staff meeting? I wish I could say there is a magic scheduling process in place. The many factors within your organization and the outliers outside make scheduling the nightmare it has become. Monday and Friday are the least productive days to hold an admin or staff meeting. You may discover that many of your staff are in “weekend mode” on Mondays. Friday meetings or not applicable nor successful due to faculty and staff are likely to be rushing through the day in anticipation of the “weekend.”

A productive meeting schedule (as per research) is generally conducted on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Early morning meetings should be avoided due to the need of the faculty and staff to be “cranking up” for the day. Also, meetings at the start of the day mean that the faculty and staff must prepare for it the previous day or arrive early. Afternoon meetings, faculty, and staff become clock watchers in anticipation of that important “bell.”

Many administrators have found that a mid-morning meeting is beneficial as faculty and admin staff has had time to settle in, are more alert, and have not dealt with numerous tasks yet. Enthusiasm will remain throughout the day.

Most all of an administrator’s faculty and teacher meeting must work around classroom schedule that absorbs enormous slots of the daily or weekly calendar.

If your organizational goal is to create a sense of importance, then for an administrative meeting, they should be done at the end of the day. Unfortunately, this too has its drawbacks. Your administrative staff are tired and only looking to go home. For the modern Texas administrator, the rest of the day’s calendar slots are “filled in” with teachers, staff, parents, students and district needs. So, the end of the day seems to be the most conducive.

I used to remark to my administrative staff that “drinks” would be available at admin meetings, but I had to stop as they really wanted to take me seriously. So, to compromise (and obviously to keep the School Board happy), I made sure soda drinks, snack, and other items to ‘chew” were available. This seemed to reduce the stress level and align emotionally with what needed to be accomplished.

With all due respect to our philosophers of public education and the excellent “picture,” they have painted to describe the modern Texas Administrator. There is no “beneficial” time for meetings. The overall system has moved to this process, and as such, the modern administrator must incorporate this into their daily and weekly schedules while trying to focus on our ultimate goal to increase student performance.

TExES 268 and Comp Eight: Effective Administrative Planning
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