My Plate Is Overflowing!

Just last week, I had the opportunity to work with the PSD Division Principal, George Couros. During our conversation, which moved all over the place, we spent time discussing how I might continue to develop my online portfolio.

Like everyone else, as the Principal of Woodhaven Middle School, I find myself so busy that I feel like I just can’t add another thing to my plate! That’s where our conversation got interesting. As I shared with George the ways in which I try to communicate with my parent community (blog posts; school council; twitter; facebook, remind 101 etc.) and my staff, we discussed the “Monday Memo”.

The Monday Memo has evolved over the past several years from one long winded email each Sunday evening to a Microsoft Publisher page to it’s current format as a google presentation. It’s not really a new or creative idea any more as most of my admin colleagues have a similar form of communication but if everyone’s doing it, there might be a good reason!

One purpose of the Monday memo is to reduce the number of emails that I have to send out to staff.  If there’s something I need to communicate to the whole group and it can wait for a few days, it goes into the Monday memo.  You’d be amazed how many emails this saves!

The Monday memo also lets the staff know what days I am away from the school, and what I am doing on those days. I think this transparency is critical for all. Also included in the Memo are “to do’s” for the week, the “Shout Out” slide where we acknowledge staff who’ve gone above and beyond; some information on what’s happening in the school for the week (two of many highlights this week are  “Pink Shirt Day” and our Drama production of James and the Giant Peach).

While other slides sometimes make an appearance in the memo (this week we had some focus on the Tell Them From Me Surveys we will be using with our students) it always concludes with something intended to support the Professional Learning of my staff. Anything from a great blog post to a visual or video or just an inspirational quote. When I originally added that piece I was concerned it would be one more thing I would have to add to my plate 😦 The reality is, through my own professional reading, dialogue with colleagues and Twitter, I could write a daily memo for the next 3 years and still not run out of great things to share!

As usual, I digress… back to the point… figuring out how to continue to develop my online portfolio while not adding to my plate! That’s what this blog post was about. In having a great conversation with George, and reflecting on one of his suggestions, I arrived at this post.

My goal will now be to share parts of the Monday memo with more than just my staff. Since I already choose to create the memo each week, I am going to blog about those items that might interest our parents and students. Why shouldn’t they hear which of our staff are doing an amazing job each week? Maybe they do want to know what we are learning about, and what’s on the schedule of events for the upcoming days!

I will keep you “posted” on my progress!

Until next week…


About Shaye Patras

I am a husband and father of two fantastic girls. I currently work as the Principal of Ecole Meridian Heights School in Parkland School Division in Alberta, Canada. I am excited to be continuing my administrative career in this learning community!
This entry was posted in Embodying Visionary Leadership, Engage our Community, Engage our Staff, Engage Our Students, Fostering Effective Relationships, Leading a Learning Community, Providing Instructional Leadership and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Plate Is Overflowing!

  1. I would love to see an example of your memo! I think many educators could learn from your modelling.

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