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Title:Open Loops
Description:The Time You Save May Be Your Own
Keywords:productivity, time management, lifehacks
Open Loops
Open Loops
The Time You Save May Be Your Own
January 29, 2010
14 Ways Evernote Can Help Principals Manage Schools
As a school administrator, I help manage over 100 employees in my school. #0160;We have roughly 750 #0160;students, well over 1,000 parents, an active PTA, many committees and a multitude of data that must be tracked and, even more importantly, managed.
Education is increasingly data driven. #0160;You are only as good as your latest data. #0160;In addition, just like all other employers, we principals and assistant principals must manage every employee in our buildings: teachers, custodians, cafeteria staff, teacher assistants and office personnel. #0160;Observations and evaluations must be completed and tracked throughout the year. #0160;Schedules are developed to keep every department and grade level running in sync with all the others. #0160;Our customers (i.e., our parents) constantly come to us with a plethora of concerns: how to help their child at home, concerns about a teacher, bullies, excessive absences and transportation concerns, to name a few. #0160;Managing all this is a balancing act, with every moment full of the possibility of everything cascading into chaos with the mismanagement or misfiling of even one important piece of information. #0160;Because of this, I moved to Evernote to assist our school in running smoothly.
Continue reading "14 Ways Evernote Can Help Principals Manage Schools" raquo;
Jan 29, 2010 9:30:46 PM
Product Review,
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July 06, 2009
Town Experiments With Thank You Notes
News amp; Observer | A 鈥楾hank You鈥 Instead of a Parking Fine: Chapel Hill Takes a New Approach After the last few posts dealing with saying, 鈥淭hank You!鈥, it was with interest that I noted that the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina is experimenting with Thank You notes. #160; When ticketing those who have overstayed their parking meter time, Chapel Hill usually tickets the cars, with each ticket resulting in a $15 fine. #160; Of all cars ticketed, 33% of them are first-time offenders. #160; However, town officials decided to try something unique: first time parking offenders will receive a 鈥淭hank You鈥 note. 鈥淔irst-time parking meter violators in and around Franklin Street won't find a citation on their windshield if their meter runs out. Instead, they'll find a note, saying quot;Thank you for visiting downtown Chapel Hill. quot; On Wednesday the town began a quot;courtesy ticket quot; program that dismisses first-time violators' $15 citation.鈥 The city stands to lose over $12,000 in lost fines, but stands to gain more repeat visitors and shoppers. #160; In the city that UNC-Chapel Hill calls home, this simple act says to parents, relative, visitors, tourists, and shoppers, 鈥淲elcome!鈥 Personally, I like spending my money where I feel welcome. What about you? via: Thank You Notes Left for Parking Violators Instead of Tickets in Chapel Hill image:
Jul 6, 2009 1:26:00 PM
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July 03, 2009
How To Write A Thank You Note
Over the last few weeks of the academic year, I began writing a note of thanks to someone in my school. #0160; In a school of over 100 adults, it was easy to spot something each day that deserved a 鈥淭hank You鈥. #0160; As my last act each day, I sat down at my desk and wrote the note of thanks and placed it in an employee鈥檚 mailbox as I walked out of the door.
The result was immediate. #0160; Almost every teacher told me that the expression of thanks was something that they needed to hear that day. #0160; That made me feel good as well. #0160; Jeff Bailey, at the Wired Presentations blog, and I discussed Thank You notes on Twitter a few days back. #0160; He said, 鈥淚t feels good to get a Thank You note, but it feels awesome to write one.鈥 #0160; He is right, writing something that brightens someone else鈥檚 day is awesome.
Since writing a Thank You note is going to have a major impact on someone, it鈥檚 important to do it right. #0160; Below is a summary of good Thank You note writing practices by Rosalie Maggio in her book, 鈥淗ow to Say It鈥, that are suitable for the workplace:
Write the note promptly.
Mention specifically what you are thankful for.
Express your gratitude in a 鈥渆nthusiastic, appreciative way鈥.
Tell why you like what you are thanking them for.
Close with one or two sentences that are unrelated to the object of your gratitude (i.e., saying something nice about the person, sending greetings to the recipient鈥檚 family, mentioning that you will see him or her soon)
Never express more than you feel. #0160; In worst case scenarios, a simple, 鈥淭hank you very much鈥 will do.
Source: Rosalie Maggio | How to Say It: Choice Words, Phrases, Sentences amp; Paragraphs for Every Situation
Jul 3, 2009 2:15:05 PM
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July 02, 2009
The Importance of Saying ldquo;Thank You rdquo;
Four years ago, I posted about the importance of saying 鈥淭hank You鈥 to staff members who go above and beyond our normal expectations. #160; It鈥檚 now three year鈥檚 later. #160; Our economy has tanked. #160; In just six months, my profession has gone from a huge teacher shortage to a teacher surplus due to budget deficits in the state budget that resulted in huge teacher layoffs. With over 120 school systems in North Carolina announcing at least 100 layoff each and some announcing 700+ layoffs, a minimum of 120,000 teachers face unemployment. #160; One would think that with that number of teachers who now don鈥檛 know how to pay their family bills, the ones who still have jobs would be overjoyed about their continued employment. #160; Surprisingly, although thankful for their jobs, they still see their future threatened: Our governor took back one-half percent of all state employee pay retroactively, many times out of only one check. #160; In other words, many teachers found their last check of the year $100 - $200 less than normal. A projected pay cut of 10% is being considered. Another plan being considered has the school year being cut by 5 days this coming year and 10 days the year thereafter. #160; This means 5 鈥 10 days without pay. The state is raising the student to teacher ratio, meaning they will have more students per class. New anti-bullying legislation promises more responsibility, but comes with no funding. Taxes are promised to be raised. Money for instructional supplies has been slashed. Money for repairs and custodial items has been slashed. The 鈥淣o Child Left Behind鈥 requirements are still being raised. In short, teachers are expected to do more and increase learning. #160; They are to do this with more students, #160; for less pay, fewer materials, in less time, and in rooms needing repairs. #160; In these poor economic times, administrators, including private sector managers, still need to understand that those still employed still need reassurance that they are valued and that their contributions mean something to the organization. #160; Ways to tell employees, 鈥淭hank You鈥, are even more important now than four years ago when I wrote the original post. #160; Not doing so could mean plummeting staff morale and less productivity. What are you doing during this rough economic time to tell your employees that you value them?
Jul 2, 2009 7:50:07 PM
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June 30, 2009
Seek and Act on Research-Based Ideas
I #39;m a big fan of data and analytics. #0160; Using data to make day-to-day
decisions gives me sound footing supporting what I do. #0160; Harry Wong, the
noted educator, has said that what you do is not important, that
knowing why you do what you do is the important thing. Whether you
agree with him or not, it #39;s always intrigued me to understand why some
people get results and some do not. #0160; Why do some sales people make that
big sale and others let it slip through their fingers? #0160; Why is one
presentation killer while another elicits nothing but yawns? #0160; Why will
students perform for one teacher, but resist another?
Sometimes, successful people do not even know why what they do
works. #0160; It just does. #0160; But there are those of us who have the curiosity to try to figure out the quot;why quot; of success.
Continue reading "Seek and Act on Research-Based Ideas" raquo;
Jun 30, 2009 8:52:49 AM
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June 29, 2009
Increase Receptiveness of Ideas by Using a Listener's Right Ear
Wired Science presents an article on research by psychologists Daniele Marzoli and Luca Tommasi of the University G. d鈥橝nnunzio in Italy. #0160; In this study, done in dance clubs in Italy (Who says research can #39;t be fun?), 172 subjects were approached by a researcher and asked for a cigarette. #0160; Out of the 88 people who were asked in their left ear, only 17 gave her a cigarette. #0160; Of the 88 people who were asked the same request in their right ear, 34 granted the request. #0160; In addition, researchers observed even more people interacting, noted similar requests, and observed the success or failure of the request. #0160; This large difference in the results led the psychologists to conclude that the result differences were due to which ear received the requests and not just chance.When hypothesizing why the right ear yielded substantially more positive results it was noted, quot;What鈥檚 surprising about the study is that ear choice had such a
decided impact on the behavior of participants in a natural, or as the
researchers put it, ecological, setting. Why would people feel more
generous when their right ears are addressed?
Marzoli and Tommasi write that some work has shown that the left and
right hemispheres of the brain appear to be tuned for positive and
negative emotions, respectively. Talk into the right ear and you send
your words into a slightly more amenable part of the brain. quot;The take-away from this is that those in positions where persuasion is paramount in getting a desired action (i.e., sales people, teachers, politicians, etc.), the right ear should be favored. #0160; In private conferences, put yourself to the right of the person with whom you are talking. #0160; On the salesfloor, stand to the customer #39;s right. #0160; Teachers should put more difficult students on right side of the room and when they give individual feedback, talk in the student #39;s right ear.Granted that the results, before counted as fact, need to be reproduced and verified, but, it does give us something to think about and act on to see if it #39;s true in our circumstances.--via Wired Science: Requests to the Right Ear Are More Successful Than Those to the Left
Jun 29, 2009 1:12:00 AM
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Bert Webb
An educational administrator with expertise in time management, productivity, and self-development.
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