by Dr Matthew Joseph
As a building principal for eleven years and now a district leader for the past six years, I know that effective leadership benefits educators and a school. All of us have talents and traits inherent to the personalities we were born with; some of the most important components of a successful career can be learned, including effective leadership skills.
I believe the term Time Management is a misnomer. You cannot manage time; it is not possible; what you can control are the events and tasks in your role as a leader in relation to time. I always hear “I want more” time, but you only get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds each day. Using that time depends on self-analysis, planning, evaluation, and self-control skills. Much like money, time is valuable and limited and must be protected.
A school day is constantly go-go-go, so most leaders arrive a couple of hours before students and staff and stay at least that long at the end of the day to tackle the email, phone calls, and paperwork. While long days might be part of the role, most experienced leaders have learned some time management tricks and shortcuts to keep long hours under control. Leaders who practice good efficiency techniques often find that they are more productive and have more energy for things they need to accomplish. Feeling less stressed will allow you to do the things you want. Get more things done and relate more positively to others.
Enter Wakelet. Wait, an online tool? YES! I have used Wakelet in all my leadership roles to organize and curate critical documents, videos, notices, tweets, and anything you need to support staff. ALL IN ONE PLACE. Efficiency starts with building an ecosystem that allows one-stop shopping, well, more like one-stop searching.
Wakelet is a digital ecosystem to curate content to allow leaders (and teachers and students) to collect links to websites, social media posts, pictures, documents, and PDFs in one place. Wakelet is a universal and intuitive platform that allows users to store information in collections (like a digital folder).
I have found Wakelet to be a valuable tool that increases my efficiency and allows me to reach more of our teachers, students, families, and community. Of course, I can share essential school documents with staff, but I can also share our district’s or school’s story to as many of our families as possible because Wakelet’s collections can be public. After all, the permission settings are customizable. In addition, having families surf numerous social media accounts to see exciting happenings or updates can be a challenge in any large district. With Wakelet, I can collect all of our tweets, social media posts, pictures, and documents into one space and provide families with one link to access all the fantastic stories from one week at our schools! Additionally, Wakelet allows users to follow other users and creators to get ideas from other impactful leaders and educators.
Some examples of wakes include lesson plans, newsletters, group projects, research assignments, portfolios, and reading recommendations. The ability to copy these collections is a powerful feature as teachers can view already completed collections of other educators and copy them to build their own for their classroom.
There are other ways for leaders to be efficient and build Wakelet collections to support in-building and community communications and celebrations.
Get to Know the Building Staff
Schools can turn over staff year to year, and to start the year, leaders can invite all educators to do a Wakelet introducing themselves. Staff can learn about each other and build excitement for the coming year as they discover who will be part of the learning community for the coming year.
How To-Tech Videos For families.
There are many forms (i.e., registration, nurse, field trip forms, etc.). Having a Wakelet collection with tutorials helps families eliminate the multiple questions the school staff will have to answer. Click here for a collection to support district initiatives.
Celebrate Your School
We all strive to have families understand and respect the learning in our schools – but families don’t have time to visit or see what is happening each day. Using a Wakelet collection, leaders can invite families to look inside some of the learning experiences with students. It is time to let the learning pour out of the four walls of your classroom and into the world.
Collect reflections on an initiative
Schools are often creating and launching new programs and initiatives. Using the collaboration feature of Wakelet, families can respond in a collection. This is a fantastic way to curate feedback as leaders reflect on a project or idea.
With the addition of the Flipgrid shorts camera or the ability for an audio-only option using mic only, leaders can share updates, ideas, or education thoughts using Wakelet.
Having impactful resources and readings for staff will support their growth. Using Wakelet, leaders can collect impactful blogs and articles. Click here for a collection to support district initiatives.
A picture is worth a thousand words. A collaborative image collection can let students gather images from a current event, a biome they’re studying, a book they’re reading, or more.
To become an effective leader, motivate your team to act and perform differently. Using a digital resource like Wakelet will allow leaders to be more efficient and lead by example. In addition, it gives your educators something to simulate when you hold yourself to a certain standard and conduct yourself accordingly.