For many years, I watched from a distance as principals struggled over creating next year’s timetable. I always counted my blessings that this wasn’t part of my job, because it looked like such an overwhelming task to try to think of every possible variable you need to consider.
And, of course, the universe is now laughing at me. It’s part of my job now.
In our school, we have a team who sets the timetable, so I do count my blessings that I’m not alone. And I’ve been surprised to find that this task is like doing a puzzle, and I actually like trying to work it all out. However, there are certainly times that it’s beyond painful.
This teacher wants this course…. That teacher wants their prep at this time… These courses should be in the morning…. Those courses should be in the second semester… Some students are going to need to be able to have their compulsory courses done by January… some are needing a combination of grade 11 and 12 courses so we have to make sure it’s possible for them to get what they need…
Fortunately, we have an awesome leader. At the point that it felt like we were sinking into the bog, she stopped us. She asked a simple question. “What is our purpose?”
And it all became clear. Our purpose is to provide the best possible education for our students. While there were some variables that we would have liked to accommodate, there were some that were clearly important in providing a quality learning experience. Those had to come first.
It reminded me again of how important it is to keep in touch with our basic values and beliefs, and to use those as touchstones when struggling to make important decisions.
Even though the ultimate decision I make may not be perfect, at the end of the day, I know that I can stand behind it because it was made on solid principles.
What is guiding your decision-making?