Choices Matter
November 23, 2015
The R Word
November 23, 2015

StopwatchNo matter who we are, rich or poor, tall or short, old or young, we all have 24 hours in the day and so much of what we become is a direct result of what we do with the time we are given.  As a Superintendent/Principal, I think about the subject of time a lot.  I am constantly trying to get things done and there never seems to be enough time in the day to do it all.  I am sure that everyone can relate to that feeling.

As a parent, I can also understand the pressure of time management when it comes to balancing things and carving out time to spend with my kids.  Of course there is the debate over whether kids need quality time vs. quantity of time.  I once heard it explained another way…the word “love” to kids is actually spelled t-i-m-e.  That statement is so true!

I was going through the pile of things that come across my desk recently and I came across an article that provided some great tips on finding more time in our day to do what really matters.  We have all heard them before, but I think that they are worth reviewing again so here are a few of my favorites…

  1. Set Priorities-Sit down and list what’s truly important to you. Then decide how to spend your time.  Make sure your decisions reflect what matters.  Have a choice between cooking a fancy dinner or talking with your child about school?  Order a pizza and talk.
  2. Spend One-on-One Time-Your child needs time to talk with you. Time to see and hear how you would apply your experience and your values to the problems that he/she is facing.  There’s nothing like spending time alone with a parent to make a child of any age feel special.  Try making an appointment to spend some time alone with your child each week.  Write it on your calendar.  Then treat that appointment as seriously as you would an important business meeting.
  3. Use the “Off” Button-You probably have more time than you think, but it’s being stolen from you and your child by electronics! So what can you do?
  • Turn off the television. Record any programs you or your child can’t miss.
  • Turn off the cell phone. Let the calls and text messages go during your time with your kids.
  • Turn off the computer. It’s amazing how much time can be lost to searching the Internet, checking status updates on Facebook, and emailing.
  1. Use Car Time-You probably spend a lot of time in the car with your child. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have meaningful conversations and a real influence on your child.  Your child is a “captive audience” in the car and you can take full advantage by talking about things that really matter.

I think all of these are great suggestions for maximizing the time you have.  I am no expert on time management, but I do know that right now is a crucial time in the lives of our students.  In fact, I think that some of the wisest words I have ever heard were actually sung in a song by Van Halen on this subject.  That’s right, I am quoting Van Halen in the monthly newsletter.  Sing along if you know the song…

”Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now,
C’mon, it’s everything
Right now,
Catch a magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything”

Forget about time management.  It really comes down to attention management.  The question becomes, “What are we going to choose to spend our precious attention on right now?”  Where we spend our attention tells everyone else what we consider to be important.  As a school, we are committed to spending our time on what is most important each and every day.  We have a huge role to play in the development of kids and we will promise to do our very best without any excuses.  But please remember that nothing replaces the impact that loved ones have in the lives of young people.  I am hoping that we can do whatever we can to work together to maximize the time that we have right now because it really does mean everything.  Happy holidays to everyone and GO COUGARS!

Freeman E Signature

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