"No Office Time" is scheduled into my calendar, three times a week for two hours each time. During these blocks of time, I commit to spending quality time in classrooms—not just walking through, but time being part of different classes so that I can experience what our teachers are teaching and what our students are learning. Don’t get me wrong—I do get out of my office more often than just these blocks of time--each day when I walk around the building to see how things are going, when I spend time with students and teachers at lunch and recess, when I lead the 8th grade boys havurah, and for other special programs and school-wide events. However, the life of a Head of School has many pulls and draws that often have an impact on how I schedule my days.
So if you are wondering how I spend my days as a head of school, if you are thinking that there are meetings involved, you are correct. These meetings are important—they give me time to talk with our leadership team, time to meet with current and prospective parents, and to engage with teachers, students and staff on so many things that take place during the school day.
You probably know that I am not the only school leader who struggles to balance the need for meetings with the need to be out and about with students and teachers in the classroom. Many school leaders, when speaking openly with one another, share similar stories. As a result of these feelings, a group of administrators created a movement that is being celebrated this week: No Office Day, where administrators who sign on are leaving their offices, their telephones, and their email for the entire day as they spend time in classrooms. As we just opened school and the pull for meetings right now is quite compelling, I will be participating in a modified way this week by blocking off a few hours over several days to be in our classrooms.
As I wrote earlier, this won’t be the only time that I am in classrooms, but it is a great opportunity for me. Our teachers and students deserve to see me, their Head of School, while they are engaged in the business we do best—teaching and learning. In this way, I can offer support, provide feedback, and experience for myself all of the wonderful things that are going on in our school.
I am looking forward to spending more time in classrooms, experiencing the joy of teaching and learning with our students, and to sharing so many wonderful things that our students participate in each day.
Marc Medwed, Head of School