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Paperless Principal

Principals are busy. They are being pulled in every direction imaginable and they can use all the help they can get. They also deal with immense amounts of information and they need a systematic way of dealing with all that information. I want to be able to help principals utilize technology to enhance their lives so that they can be more productive, efficient, and focus on what really matters, putting kids first. 

The thing I love most about being in education is seeing kids "get it." It doesn't happen every day, and it isn't always a deep intellectual concept, but every time I see that light bulb go off in their eyes, I know that all my efforts are worth it. 

When I first became an administrator, I was completely overwhelmed by the massive amounts of paper that I came across. I have always sought to rid myself of the unnecessary, and that worked well as a teacher and as a library coordinator, and as a curriculum specialist. In those other areas, the papers I got seemed to fit in neat little folders that didn't take up much space or time. As an administrator, It seems like every piece of information I get needs to be remembered and retrieved at a later date. I couldn't handle all that paper, so I put it in a pile (which worked well when I didn't get new information every 20 minutes). What ended up happening was that I missed deadlines, kids fell through the cracks, parents' phone calls didn't get returned, and some of my duties went unnoticed. I knew that I needed to do something, but I wasn't quite sure. I tried a different organization system, which helped immensely, but still left me with some problems (but at least my office was clean).

I knew there had to be a better way, so I started toying with the idea of being paperless. For me, when I finish something, I look at my phone or my computer to remind myself of what needs to be done. When I get interrupted, I deal with the interruption, and then go to my computer or phone. Sometimes, that isn't where I need to be focusing. Then, after working at things, and researching what others were doing to stay organized, I learned about David Sparks' iBook called "Paperless". I owe David a great deal of gratitude for his work in setting me on the right course. After reading his book, I spent the next three nights from the time my kids went to bed to two or three in the morning working on getting my paperless system organized. 

After realizing what an immense task it was to get started all on my own, I decided the best thing I could do is use that experience to help other principals deal with the onslaught of paper. 

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