I hate when people have to somehow work into every conversation how busy they are. I have colleagues who start every conversation with a statement along the lines of, "You wouldn't believe how busy I've been..." or "I get to my office every morning at 6 ayem (that's Texan for a.m.) and still cannot get all my work done..." or "I work until 10 pm every night"....
It's like they're bragging or playing some game of I'm Better Than You Because I Work Harder Than You.
I have close administrator friends who brag about being at work from before sun-up until long after sun-down and go in on weekends to "get caught up". They make it sound like they are running cattle from Fort Worth to Kansas City...what a hardship out here on the trail, sleeping in the rain and eating nothing but burnt beans...
Hey, if you're a workaholic - and you love impressing folks by telling them how many hours you worked last week...good for you. Now pipe down, will ya please?
You really want to know what I think when friends tell me over and over how hard they work and what long hours they keep? I seriously think, "So you have no clue how to manage your time? And you expect what? Sympathy?"
It's not how hard you work, it's how smart you work. It's not how long you work, it's how much you get done at work.
My observation is that folks who ROUTINELY work more than a standard work week:
* Have poor time management skills; or
* They don't know how to delegate; or
* They cannot prioritize [HINT: Family comes first!]; or
* They are Wannabe Martyrs.
[OMG!, did he really just say that?]
Listen? I hear eggshells being stepped on.
Look, if you're a school administrator and you consider football games, plays, concerts, academic and athletic events to be WORK, you're in the wrong career.
Sure, I'm "on duty" while at those events, but I'm also having FUN! I see fellow admintypes so worried and uptight about the lighting systems, sound systems, crowd control, etc. that they completely miss a 98 yard punt return for a score. Or they don't really HEAR that subtle oboe melody played perfectly during a student concert.
Kenny sings about knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em. Effective - and the most healthy - school administrators know when to be vigilant, focused, and when to let go and just enjoy the moment. Take the informal Walk Through Observation. I have seen colleagues so intent on working through their checklist, they completely miss the sheer joy on a kid's face who just caught on to reducing 2/4 to 1/2. ("I get it Mr. Jones! I finally get it!") Any administrator who witnesses such an event and doesn't walk over and give the kid a high-five is just an empty suit pretending to be an educator.
I've been asked how I will know when it's time to retire.
When going into my office, walking the halls, visiting a classroom, spending time with great teachers and super students becomes a "job", it will be time for me to leave.
When I look at my watch and mentally calculate how much longer I have to stay at work, it will be time for me to quit.
When I start telling everyone how hard I work, how many hours I spent at the school, and how busy I am...it will time for me to retire.