Sunday, September 15, 2013
My Thoughts on the “Ideas and Thoughts” Blog by Dean Sheraski…
I recently read a post from his personal weblog, “Ideas and Thoughts” in which he eloquently presented what he referred to as the ideal “Back to School Speech”. Mr. Shareski basically said everything an educator dreams of hearing from their school leaders. While the entire speech is one of promoting good will and harmonious environments, it was his first comment that resonated with me. He started off by saying. “I don’t want to keep you long because I know you have a great many things to do in the preparation for the upcoming school year but I did want to be sure to share what’s on my mind”. This reads to me as a leader who acknowledges the pressures teachers are under, and by expresses his wishes for not wanting to take up too much of their valuable time tells me that he cares and wants to help in any way. No matter how small. I feel that above all, understanding is we are looking for, and if we have the privilege of working for someone who ultimately and completely understands, then we have hit the jackpot!
What an awesome speech to kick off the new school year! I hope that one day I will have the privilege of working for an administrator who cares so much about their teaching staff. What a great motivator!
I also had the opportunity to read another post in which he discussed the benefits of allowing more free time to employers and students to work on things that matter to them. He also discussed the ever growing advantages of technology and how it can provide better results by allowing employers to work from home. While I personally enjoy free time, I’m not convinced more free time for students is a good thing.
Since the day I turned 18 years old, I have worked a full-time office job. I started out as a Teller then a Personal Banker at a local bank. I worked there for five years before starting at my current job at a Real Estate office, which I have been at for eleven years. I have become somewhat accustomed to working in an “office” environment. While I am at work, I am more focused and therefore get more accomplished. While I have tried many times to work from home, I typically find I am distracted and sleepy. I realized I am the type that craves structure, and apparently I am also a creature of habit. If I have work to do, I need to be in the office, at my desk with a cup of coffee. If I need personal time, I will be at home, on my comfy couch with a glass of sweet tea! I understand the concept of working from home is extremely successful for many; it’s just not for me.
The other part of his post focused on allowing more free time for students. I understand that a lot of elementary aged children participate in park athletics and other extracurricular activities. For the most part, these type activities are set up where practices and games are after school and/or on the weekends. So how much more free time do they need? Do they have business to take care of or booming social lives? I don’t think so. If anything it would be the parents who need the additional free time. I believe that children thrive on structure and on routines. It allows them to know what they are supposed to be doing and in some was helps to build confidence.
Even though I do not agree with everything he writes, Mr. Shareski seems to be a thoughtful man, and sincerely cares about people and promoting happy work environments.
I have held a full-time job since the day I turned 18. I have become accustomed to an "office" working environment. While I have tried many times to work from home, It just doesn't work for me. While I am at work, I am more focused and get a great deal more accomplished opposed to when I try unsuccessfully to work from home. When I try to work from home I become very distracted by the house chores I could be doing. I have tried really hard to just sit in my office and focus....it doesn't help. I believe it is because my personality craves structure. I also an not convinced that more free time for students is a good thing. I believe children too thrive in structured environments and on routines.
Mr. Shareski's Response:
You just described an environment where you thrive. If you've not worked in a school, it's hard to understand just how oppressive time can be. I'm not suggested there be no structure but part of giving people time means giving them freedom to work on things that matter to them, when the want to. It can be in small does but at some point, as human beings we need that. Yes, children and adults need structure and routines but in many cases that structure and routine has gone from being helpful to being harmful. That's what I'm advocating to change.
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