Time as a Statement of Values- 8/30/2020

This past week during our Region 4 SBTS Collaboration Meeting, our SBTS Educational Specialists asked us to read the selection to the left and use the thinking routine- Sentence, Phrase, Word to process it in a collaborative slide deck as part of our grounding.

As I read the selection, many ideas came to mind. Perhaps the first thing that struck me was "priorities." This past week, we were working on finalizing schedules for my school. With school starting in my district virtually, the allocation of time is a delicate balancing act. As the tech coach, I want dedicated time to plan with teachers during CLTs, but also time to follow up on their needs and coach them as they navigate new ways to use technology. But it's not just about what I want: my school needs me to be part of the master schedule and support teachers during instruction. Finding that compromise that honors both sets of priorities is key.

We are truly in unprecedented times and none of us truly know what the future will hold. So as the details for my schedule will ironed out, I was excited to see time allocated for Technology Support/Website/ SBTS Duties and Math CLTs on my schedules. The Technology Support/Website/SBTS Duties blocks offered me some unique opportunities. How could I use those blocks to provide my staff with dedicated virtual office hours that would allow a variety of times and days to choose from? Slowly, I started plugging in these times, varying when they were offered and providing multiple days to choose from. I wanted my schedule to clearly reflect my priority of supporting staff.

After setting this , I was having a discussion with one of the SBTS Educational Specialists, Nishi Langhorne, when she mentionned the idea of a reflective journal. If I truly wanted my schedule to reflect my priorities, I need to reflect regularly on what I was actually "doing" with my time. I took my schedule and copied it into Sheets to give me a time under each block to reflect and record my use of time. I was so excited to get this started this week and created a new Sheet for each week.

Doing this had two functions. One- was my use of time at work reflecting my values. Two- was my use of time overall reflecting my values. My work-life balance has been totally out of wack the past few weeks. If I was truly auditing my time, could that help me better reflect my values at home too? Could this help me to set up boundaries and give my life more balance?

As important as school and my job is, my family is the most important thing in my life. During times like these, that gets overshadowed and I have to be deliberate to set time aside for them. I also need to set time aside for my self care. Without that, I can't take care of anyone else.

So as I embark on a year like no other, I know it will be challenging. I know that it will be exhausting. But I also know how precious time is. I hope using reflective journaling will keep me more mindful as I navigate this year. In the past few months, journaling has been such an amazing tool in helping me reach many of my goals. Could this type of journaling do the same for my time? Only time will tell....