TOOLS EVERY LEADER SHOULD BE USING TO STAY ORGANIZED

There is no doubt that school educators are busy every minute of the day. Effective task management can be quite a challenge, especially when dealing with complex assignments or projects, each with its own specific requirements, deadlines, and deliverables. Thankfully, I geek out in organizational tools! I can't wait to share with you a few tools that will make your life so much easier. In the end, your every day tasks get less complicated and you are more efficient.


HOW TO GROUP YOUR TABS

Do you have 250 tabs open on your computer's search engine?  If so, I bet you are often clicking through all of them to find the one you need.  I have a solution to help you quickly find the tab right away.  Recently, I switched to Microsoft Edge instead of Chrome.  Let me tell you why.  Edge allows me to create organized tabs and they don't disappear.  In Chrome, you can also create these tabs, but I can't seem to get them to stay.  Until Chrome figures out how to make groups stay, I will use Microsoft Edge for all my searches.  

TOOLS EVERY LEADER SHOULD BE USING TO STAY ORGANIZED



TOOLS EVERY LEADER SHOULD BE USING TO STAY ORGANIZED

When you click on one of the groups you have created, it opens up to see all the tabs.  When you click it again, it will condense and hide.  This keeps your tabs all clean and organized. 

The grouped tabs display the color in a line across the top and the group name is on the left side. From here, there are a couple of things you can do:

  • To collapse or expand all the tabs, click the group name or color indicator
  • To move all the tabs around as a group, click and drag the group name.
  • To move a tab into another group, drag and drop it to the other group.
  • To add a new blank tab or ungroup tabs, right-click the tab group’s name.

STEPS to CREATE TABS

1. Open Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser
2. Click Group Tab 
3. Name your tab groups and customize colors
4.  Click and drag a tab group name or colored circle to move the groups

HOW TO SCHEDULE INSTANT MEETINGS IN GMAIL

This great idea was shared by my good friend, Lauren.  She knew I would love this.  I have been using Calendly for the last few years.  I just switched to Boomerang.  Boomerang is a free add-on to gmail unless you want all of the features.  Honestly, I think Boomerang is way easier to use than Calendly.  The set up was simple.  

Boomerang is a one-click calendar scheduling system that integrates within your gmail.

Take a look at the bottom of my email signature.  The orange MEET button at the bottom allows you to schedule a meeting without emailing back and forth suggested times.  Time saver!
 
TOOLS EVERY LEADER SHOULD BE USING TO STAY ORGANIZED

TOOLS EVERY LEADER SHOULD BE USING TO STAY ORGANIZED

Boomerang is the #1 Gmail extension. It lets you schedule sending email, track if someone replies to an email, and set reminders on important messages.

INSTANT AGENDAS AND MEETING NOTES 

Google has built-in agendas and meeting notes!  I have been creating agendas all year within my google drive.  Attendees get instant access to the agenda immediately after sending a calendar invitation to them.  


TOOLS EVERY LEADER SHOULD BE USING TO STAY ORGANIZED


TOOLS EVERY LEADER SHOULD BE USING TO STAY ORGANIZED


The agenda automatically adds the attendees from the calendar invite and the date.  


CLOSING

I hope you have enjoyed the items above and find that these tools save you time throughout the day.  I know these seems simple, but saving time on the simple tasks allow you to focus on the bigger ones.  Guarding your time and managing it well is crucial to your success.  It's not just about getting things done.  It's about avoiding burnout and having a sense of contentment and accomplishment at the end of each day.  









0

your photo name

Academic Showcase (Parent Open House Night)

I'm excited to share with you our district's Academic Showcase Night.  One of my best friends shared this idea with me a few years ago.  I was finally able to bring it to life in my own district.  

Academic Showcase Night


We started planning back in October for this event.  I formed a committee and shared this idea with the team, and they helped me bring this to life.  The committee helped me make it better than I had ever imagined.  We created a presentation to share with the rest of the staff to let them know about the event and how to be prepared for our big showcase night.  


An Academic Showcase is similar to an Open House.  But instead of parents going to classrooms, our event was held in our cafeteria and gym.  A1 Rent-All was hired to install the booths.  We rented the dividers and a few tables.  Our cafeteria has almost all round tables.  We designed our layout to fit the space of our existing tables.  By not having to rent tables, we were able to save funds.



THE ACADEMIC SHOWCASE NIGHT

We dismissed school at 1:00 pm to allow us to transform the space.  While teachers were in a short staff meeting or working in their rooms from 1:00-2:00, the team moved tables and chairs.  I had planned ahead and held a short meeting with the team prior to the night to discuss the layout and the job duties.  The teachers set up/decorated their booths, and we opened our doors to the public from 5:00-7:00.


Every teacher and subject area was represented in the two spaces.  Teachers had a booth similar to a tradeshow or convention.  They decorated their space and showcased their academic content area.  In the gym (connecting to the cafeteria), we had live performances from our physical education teachers, band, and theatre department. 


Behind the cafeteria, we served hot dogs from a food truck/grill on wheels.  Also, we had our Agricultural classes showcase their projects outside.  In addition, we were able to rent a STEAM bus from a neighboring school district.  


The meal was provided by local businesses which was such a help to us.  They grilled and served almost 500 hotdogs.  We purchased to-go bags and hotdog wrappers from Amazon.  Parents could grab their meal bag and have dinner on the go or attend the baseball game that was happening that same night.  



BOOTH SIGNAGE

We had vinyl signs made for every booth which will be reused year after year.  They are very durable.  We used zip ties to tie them onto the booth.  Our regional education service center was able to create these for us.  We sent them a list of booth signs, and they were able to create these within a few days.



WELCOME SIGNAGE

VistaPrint is another vendor that we used to create our welcome banner.  We did not put a date on these banners, so we can use them again next year.  



THE WHY

1.  Having this event in one space allowed parents to not just see one grade level or one teacher.  They could view all of the great things happening in every grade level.

2.  Our staff shared an appreciation for the other campuses or other teachers and could see all of the great things happening in another grade level or campus.

3.  Parents communicated they loved this new redesign because they were not traveling from school to school.  

4.  Typically, we have lower attendance from secondary parents at our Open House events.  We had more parents show up for middle and high school this year.  We hope to continue to see more secondary parents attend as we make this a tradition.

5.  It is important that we showcase the learning that is happening in our district.  We need to celebrate the accomplishment of our students, but also give the opportunity for teachers to share their classrooms with the community.  Our teachers work so hard, and I just loved seeing them share their passion with their parents.

Take a look at our video!




What do you think?  Any questions? Email me principalprinciples@gmail.com

0

your photo name
Back to Top