So, those of you who read my blog haven’t been lately! (That is unless you’ve read some old posts!)
That is because school started about 8 days a go and my whole life has been immersed in starting well. Getting organized. Putting things in place to help my year.
This summer, I read a lot about productivity, organizing, and goal setting. Call it part of turning 40, but these are things I’ve been getting.
We know that the Pareto Principal talks about the 80/20 rule. That 80 percent of our success will come from 20 per cent of people. However, I realized this summer that could 20 per cent of the issues in my room cause 80 per cent of the problems!
So, I listed — what are the 20 per cent of things that are giving me the 80 % of my success in the classroom. Then… I listed the 20% of thing that were giving me 80% of my problems.
My 20% of problems included:
- My color laser is the only one in the school that is publicly usable and it caused many interruptions.
- People walked behind my desk and knocked me throughout the day to get to the laser.
- The ink cartridges stored in my room invited interruptions.
- People seeking status updates on technology issues caused interruptions.
- There was no way for people to add information to a technology issue without interrupting me.
What resulted was a day of constant interruptions and little irritations. And the little things make a big difference.
So, after really looking at the 20%, I created my “Pareto project” which included:
- Moving the color laser to a place beside the door causing less interruptions.
- Moving my desk to a T format which doesn’t allow anyone to walk behind me.
- Moving Ink Cartridges to the Office Supply area out of my room.
- Setting up a trouble ticket tracking system on Fogbugz which let them see their updates and email updates to the trouble ticket as well as producing a timecard for the amount of time I spend on each issue.
These were things I could control. Yes, they may seem petty but they were interruptions. Now, I’m finding that attacking my 20% that are causing 80% of the problems is producing quite a big payoff. Yes, I’m still stressed and have too much to do, but I am interrupted far less and when I am it is for bigger issues.
So, ask yourself:
What are the 20% of things you do that give you 80% of the positive results in the classroom?
What are the 20% of things that cause 80% of the problems in your classroom?
Start by attacking the problems and thinking of flow and how you can remediate/ eliminate the problems. Then, look at spending more time on what works and eliminating things that don’t.
OK, gotta run spend time watching my son play in a scrimmage game at school.
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