Friday, October 8, 2010

Put First Things First

It is easy to recall what your priorities are when someone asks, but how often do we consciously think about our priorities and put them front and center in our daily lives? In the daily race to get things done, we often hear the complaint that there isn’t time for the important things we want to do. By the time the little yet time-consuming tasks are completed, there is no time left for the things on which we would really like to spend our time.
There is a solution to this frustrating cycle: put first things first. When we focus first on our main priorities, we find that not only do we have more time left to fit in the smaller tasks, but we also feel more fulfilled. This sense of satisfaction makes perfect sense. The things that we identify as our main priorities, those that we want to focus on, are the things that
drive us and give us purpose. When you can fully devote your attention first to what motivates you, you realize that you are more effective and more content.
Everyone has different priorities based on what role they take on in life. There are family priorities, personal priorities, work priorities. So what are our priorities in our role as educators? Many would agree that student success tops the list. Having a healthy climate in the school among both students and staff is critical to that success. Among other priorities are quality instruction, building relationships, and reaching out to the community.
If you ask teachers why they decided to be an educator, the answers would likely follow the same theme: to make a difference. We need to remind ourselves to focus on the things that inspired us to become educators in the first place. We must make time for the “big ticket items” in our priority bank and allow ourselves to spend time on the tasks that drive our passion for serving students, parents, and our community. When we put first things first, the sense of accomplishment and visible results will allow us to progress along our path toward our end in mind…successful students. The rest will fall into place on its own.

- Karen

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