Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement

By Linda Lambert | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
Time for Leadership

Unyielding and relentless, the time available in a uniform six-hour day and a 180-day year is the unac-
knowledged design flaw in American education. By relying on time as the metric for school organization
and curriculum, we have built a learning enterprise on a foundation of sand…;.

—National Education Commission on Time and Learning (1994, p. 8)

Time is understandably a problem in our profession. Our society has unwisely scrunched a full year's job into eight months, and filled a professional day with too many students, disciplines, classes, and duties. What is an educator to do? How do we find the time to build leadership capacity in our schools and districts?In the grand scheme of things, we need a longer school year, fewer students and disciplines each day, and more time for collegial work. While advocating for these policies, however, we must deal with the here and now. In this chapter I will ask you to think somewhat differently about time—to find it, create it, and come to terms with what we can do while still maintaining healthy sensibilities and relationships.
Imprisoned by Time
Time is a tyrant that controls our lives: It hides from us, steals from us, and eats up the space that surrounds us. We feel most victimized by time when
There are so many tasks and agendas that we feel pulled in many directions and helpless to change our conditions;
Our meetings are ineffective and we leave feeling more tired than when we began;
There are no decision-making processes, leading to inertia;
Mandates disrupt our work and cause us to change direction; and
We work hard but do not feel successful.

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