Be Available. Just Don’t Be Too Available.


Technology is quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to school administrators. It could also be the worst thing to happen to school administrators.

Computers, email, Twitter, etc. are everywhere. And at a cheap price.

The only thing that separates technology from drugs is the absence of a dealer standing on the street corner giving you your first “Tweet” free.

If I am anything, it is street wise, so I know how these things work.

The first one is always free. Then you are hooked.

I don’t want to be hooked.

There is nothing more pathetic than a middle aged school administrator who checks his BlackBerry 412 times a day waiting for the next email.

This includes but is not limited to checking it first thing in the morning, while golfing, when walking the dog, and during breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.

And in the bathroom.

The CrackBerry is Adictive.

The CrackBerry is Adictive.

I may have a problem.

I may end up in a 12 step program saying, “My name is PrincipalsPage and I am hooked on my CrackBerry.”

Life is about moderation.

At least that is what people say. I have noticed the people who say this are usually eating or drinking way too much. But as always I am not here to judge.

I have my own problems.

I can’t get away from work.

Even in the bathroom.

This is one thing that has changed in my 6 years of school administration.

In the old days (2004), you could leave the office and your troubles behind.

Whatever crisis existed (and there is always at least 7 crises at any given time), would lie rotting on your desk until you returned to work the next day.

Or even better. Until you returned from vacation (if and only if you found the time to actually go on vacation).

Since you couldn’t see or smell this carcass of impending disaster, you could put it out of your mind.

Not now.

Now it is 2009.

The stench comes right through your cell phone or computer.

Everyone has access to you.

There is no such thing as time set aside to meet with actual human beings. They just email, text, or Twitter you at all hours of the day and night.

6 years ago there was a little thing I used to call weekends.

Now every day is the same.

If someone has a question, concern, or a comment, they can contact you at anytime.

Day or night.

Here is a little tip for brand new administrators. When someone threatens you in an email at 2:07 a.m., they don’t really mean it.

Actually they do mean it. They will just have second thoughts in the morning. So do your best to go back to sleep.

Although it wouldn’t hurt to double-check that your doors and windows are locked.

Access is wonderful. In moderation.

We can’t blame the people emailing us. Technology gives everyone the same amount of access, which is a good thing.

It is our fault as school administrators that we can’t turn off our phone or not check our email.

I probably shouldn’t be giving this advice because I am the idiot who has looked at my email 4 times while typing this blog.

And my Twitter account 3 times. And my Plurk account twice (all in the last 17 minutes).

Technology is great. If you can control yourself.

I can’t.

I have a problem.

The good news is the first step to conquering this demon is admitting that I am powerless to control it.

And that’s what I am going to do.

Just as soon as I answer a few emails.

Because while I may have a problem, I can quit anytime I “want”.

I just don’t “want”.

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.