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The Big Rocks


THE BIG ROCKS Time Management for Principals Covey, 1989 pg.161 The key is not to prioritize what s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Big Rocks

The Big Rocks
  • Time Management for Principals

Covey, 1989 pg.161
  • The key is not to prioritize whats on your
    schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

What are the Big Rocks?
Big Rocks for any principal should be the actions
that drive student achievement.
10 Big Rocks for Principals
  • Mission
  • Giving staff members and students a clear sense
    of direction
  • Climate
  • Making the school a safe place that runs smoothly
  • Alignment
  • Meshing curriculum and assessments with state
  • Resources
  • Getting teachers the tools they need to be
  • Instruction
  • Nurturing the best possible teaching in every

  • Hiring
  • Using every vacancy to bring in excellent
  • Interim Assessments
  • Using data to continuously improve teaching
  • Collaboration
  • Fostering constant sharing of ideas and resources
  • Results
  • Keeping supervision, professional development and
    teams focused on outcomes
  • Parents
  • Maximizing family support to students education

Making it all work can be tough
The Jar Activity Not an original idea but a
terrific visual aid to bring the point home to
truly prioritize to make room for those Big Rocks!
The Empty Jar
  • The glass jar in the demonstration is the amount
    of time available in a typical work week.
  • No matter who you are, what you do, your status,
    your fame, your powerwe all have the same size
    jar meaning we all have the same amount of time
    in any given day or week or month.
  • First fill that jar with Big Rocks that matter
    the most.

The Big Rocks
  • The Big Rocks are those activities that matter
    most in our lives.
  • They have the most profound consequences, either
    good or bad, that result from their completion or
  • In terms of our work in schools, these Big Rocks
    drive student achievement.

The Pebbles
  • The pebbles are the little things that may add up
    to be something significant at some point down
    the line, but if we miss one or two, no big deal.

The Sand
  • The sand represents all the non-essential things
    that tend to fill up our days and our work lives.
  • Sand represents wasteful, non-value-producing
    activities that fill up our jar and prevent us
    from fitting in the large rocks that are
    meaningful for our work.

Remember the order
Big Rocks Pebbles Sand
  • We talked at the orientation session about
    deciding what is truly important and then making
    those things your priority.
  • In terms of leading your staff, the following
    suggestions will greatly aid in that effort

Set Clear Expectations
  • Making certain everyone knows your expectations
    for their work makes your work that much easier

Decide on a Planning System
  • How you organize your time will decide both how
    you will spend your time and how impactful that
    time will be for those around you.

Schedule Key Meetings
  • Unless you schedule them first, your most
    important meetings (team meetings leadership
    teams planning period meetings) they will get
    lost in the shuffle.
  • Establish a set system and stick to it!

Write It Down
  • You simply cannot remember every detail of every
    day so you must have a system for writing it

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
  • Hire good people, nurture them, turn them loose,
    and get out of their way.

Get Into Classrooms
  • Teachers thrive on feedback and they want to know
    what you think of their work. Schedule the
    time to see them and interact with them.

Avoid Time Wasters
  • Your work usually falls into three piles
  • Activities that add value and support student
    achievement (planning professional development)
  • Activities that are behind the scene but keep
    the school running (ordering supplies, managing
  • Activities that are a waste of time (fixing
    something not done right the first time)
  • Avoid the last one at all costs

Take Care of Yourself
  • In such a demanding job as that of a principal,
    it is imperative to schedule and honor time for
    yourself, your family, your hobbies, your peace
    of mind.
  • Take the time to take care of yourself. The work
    will be there when you return and you will be in
    a better frame of mind to deal with it all.

Take Stock
  • Regularly review and revise your time management
    until you find the perfect system for you.
    Perhaps it is color coding your calendar or
    revisiting your Big Rocks weekly. No matter the
    process, keep working on it until you find one
    that works for you!

Covey, 1989 pg.161
  • The key is not to prioritize whats on your
    schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Big Rocks
Kentucky Principals Academy Adapted from work
by Stephen Covey and Kim Marshall