Balancing Text vs. Using Images

Over the years I've learned a lot about communication with my staff and school family . A lot especially about social media communication. I would rather over communicate than leave anything to chance.

It's so much easier for me to create graphics/images/etc. from my phone than wait to get back to my computer. This started when I would lay down with my girls at night for bedtime. I still had so much to get done and bedtime was 8:00. Then it took for freaking EVER for them to fall asleep. This is when I started doing a lot of my work from my phone.

Last year I did a post on using photos instead of text. Here are the places I use photos instead of text:

  • Remind text messages to my staff
  • Remind text messages to my school community
  • Twitter 
When a parent sees the images below I feel like they take note. If it's just text they might skip over it.

This way more fun to look at than just text.
Adding text helps when I cross-post things to various platforms. I try to post to ONE place then let IFTTT or the app share it to various other places. Saves time! I do actually post text with this so the hashtag shows up and when it cross-posts to twitter. The picture is my focus and the text is the secondary focus.

It was brought to my attention that translation apps and using other languages will not translate the text within my pictures. This is a bummer and I had not thought of that at all! So my Romanian families will not be able to translate just the picture. That's another reason I probably need to include text also. Below is an example of a Facebook post with text...

Would love to know your photo workflow! Next up I will be sharing some of my favorite photo apps.

Getting Things Done....AFTER School

The struggle is real! What time do you get home AFTER work? How long do you stay at work to get things done? After school for me is a black hole of complete un-productiveness. (Not a word apparently) I get things done but there is no rhyme or reason to how or when. There is a never ending to-do list that I can cross things off randomly. But I just want to feel like I accomplished something....anything important after school!
During the day my schedule is perfection almost down to the minute. 7:30AM - 4:00PM I am getting things done. Well some days I am getting things done and following my schedule. But at least there is a schedule to follow. After 15 years as a principal even the unexpected is expected and I can get back on track during the day.
But.....when the end of the day bell rings and I am packed up and headed home, everything is in slow motion. Oh, I have PLENTY to do. It's just a matter of getting it done:)
  • I always "need" something at the mall. 
  • Tropical Smoothie would be great for dinner. 
  • The yard needs to be mowed but that just makes me mad. 
  • Instagram won't "like" itself! 
  • I wonder what new LuLaRoe or Agnes & Dora outfits are posted in groups today? 
  • Minnie needs to go for a walk.
  • The laundry won't do itself. It especially won't put itself away.
  • Fast food on the way home or should I cook something? Fast food.

Need I say more? So far my answer is creating an "Evening Planner." This has been slowly improving my productivity AFTER school. It's actually pretty exciting. However I don't follow it every day yet. Making progress though!

Before I actually filled this completely out.

How do you get things done in the evenings?

Do You Have A Plan?

How do you plan for your week to get everything done? I am always looking for advice or new ideas when it comes to planning my week and getting things done. Please comment below if you have better/different ideas than what I share. 
Weekend planning is my thing. Usually on Sunday night, but at some point on the weekend I sit down with my calendar, computer, planning supplies, and snacks. (Snacks are probably most important:) 
Spread out all over kitchen counter.

View of one day. I plan daily.

Arch Paper Punch

Stickers just make me happy and make my planner look cute so I have to have stickers:) Washi tape is another must-have accessory. (Glitter tape is my favorite.) I use the Staples Arc system so I can move pages in and out. I can also try new pages and new formats weekly. The second picture above is my currently daily view. I create my own planner.

Paper vs. Digital - BOTH! I tried to go digital only and couldn't do it. It's faster for me to write immediately than remember what app I am using and where I put stuff on my computer or iPad. I do however transfer  my work to wherever it goes digitally.

Google calendar - Yes, I live by Google calendar. However I have to see my day laid out by 30 min. increments or I will waste time. I transfer my google calendar events to my planner. Once I have all my required events, I can enter the "stuff" I have to get done in my paper planner then transfer it to Google. Works for me but may not work for you.

Planning for the whole week has been life-changing! If I can find that uninterrupted time to do this it really helps. I can get so much more done when I have a plan.

You can find the Arc notebook system and paper punch below:

The Honeymoon is Over - October!

You've built a relationship.
You've called home. (Multiple times!)
The kids have missed recess. They get extra recess.
We give them a pencil. We take away said pencil.
We tell them we are proud of them. We tell them we are disappointed.
You've eaten lunch with them. You've eaten breakfast with them.
They've clipped up. They've clipped down.
They Dojo'd +. They've Dojo'd -!
They earned points! They lost points!


Well to be honest I do not know. After 25 years you'd think I have all the answers and I just don't. My teachers try EVERYTHING! And I am not kidding. No stone is left un-turned. What would you do? What would a politician do? What should a parent do?
When I don't know, I say I don't know.
"You know what? I have no idea. You've tried everything I can think of. What do you want to try next?" And of course we come up with something. Because that's what we do.
You know what.....we just keep on keeping on. We try again tomorrow. We eat donuts for breakfast, pick up Starbucks on the way to work and start all over. Because that's what teachers do.  

It's October and we always make it to May.

Planning Your AFTER School Time

Get "Evening Planning" here
After school planning is almost more important than planning for the day. After school is family time. How do you plan for your "big rocks," the things most important to you? 
This summer our admin team went through The Leader In Me training. Almost all of our elementary schools are becoming Leader In Me schools. My personal goal is to do a better job planning my time after school. I used to only write down "softball practice." The rest of the evening would be wasted around softball practice. Now I know what I can get done around softball practice.
This has also organized my social media time so I am not online when I should be present with my kids. I have scheduled my social media time.