A Day in the Life of a District Administrator

I read a lot of blogs written by healthy lifestyle bloggers. Many of these bloggers post “A Day in the Life” blogs every few months to demonstrate a typical day in their world. Every time I read one I consider creating my own, but it takes an effort to actually capture and remember the details of a full day. Here is my first effort!

5:00 AM – The alarm goes off and I get up, get dressed in workout clothes, and I hit the treadmill! I watch a mindless TV show (this month I got addicted to Army Wives!) on my iPad as I walk (slowly due to recovery from various injuries!).

5:45 AM – I spent time stretching and torturing my leg muscles with foam rolling. If you don’t know this form of torture, you are lucky!

6:00 AM – Next I shower, get dressed, get ready for work.

6:45 AM – The first thing I do in the kitchen is make coffee! Then I pack my lunch bag, make breakfast, and sit down to eat. As I eat, I read blogs on Feedly. After blogs comes The Skimm. Then I clean up the dishes and head off to work.Monday fuel

7:15 AM – Commute to work.  I like to listen to books on tape in the car and this week it’s A Mango Shaped Space.

8:00 AM –  I arrive at a school for my first site visit of the day. I spend two hours with the two coaches at this school. We visit classrooms and debrief possible coaching messages. They share their recent coaching and professional development successes. Together we brainstorm solutions to a current challenge. I take notes about each classroom we visit in the Evernote app on my phone. I listen as much as possible, asking reflective questions to cause the coaches to think about their next steps.

Primary students hard at work

10:00 AM – I leave one school and drive to another school, eating a packed snack along the way. When I arrive at school #2 I spend a few minutes in the car checking email and responding to as many as I can.

10:30 AM – During this site visit, the school principal joins the coach and I. We spend time in the office catching up on previous concerns. They are proud to share some recent successes they have had in grade level professional development workshops. I spend a lot of time listening and honoring their hard work. They decide they want to visit one whole grade level, so we do that. After each classroom we step out to debrief what we see, what we can celebrate and what coaching questions we could ask the teacher. We return to the principal’s office to brainstorm next steps for both the coach and the principal. They are working hard on school culture and their work is evident. These visits are some of my favorite work, because I love coaching!

12:45 PM – I arrive back in my office. I sit down at my office table, with my laptop open and my lunch bag out. As I eat my lunch, I respond to more emails. I am addicted to maintaining an organized inbox with as few messages as possible.  

1:00 PM – On this day, I have a short meeting about a budget issue. Luckily this meeting was mostly a review of items and it doesn’t add anything new to my to-do list!

1:30 PM – I have a full in box of items that require my signature. I usually sign these right before I leave for the evening, but this afternoon will be busy, so I take time to sign everything now. I check in with my office staff. Then I open up my Evernote notes from all the classroom visits I conducted with coaches today. I send a personal email to each teacher whose classroom I visited, including the coach in my messages (using my stand-up desk pictured below). Each coach gets their own follow-up message summarizing our visit as well. This takes time after all site visits, but it is worth it for me. I want to honor the hard work of our teachers and coaches, and acknowledge when I’ve been in their rooms, seeing them in action.

Standing Desk!

2:00 PM – It’s time for a team meeting. This means my three Coordinators join me in my office. We keep our agenda and minutes in a Google Doc. Today we are focused on a specific task in preparation for an afternoon workshop. We calibrate ourselves on some new student writing pieces that we will use as anchor papers. There is time to cover some other items on our list as well.

3:30 PM – Today we are facilitating a writing calibration workshop for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade teachers from across our district. We are using our district auditorium for the workshop. We have a large crowd, which is exciting! I start off the workshop, with support from all of the Coordinators around the room. Soon the room is buzzing with teacher voices analyzing student writing using a common rubric and anchor papers as references. It was a great workshop!

5:40 PM – After everyone has cleared out of the auditorium, it is time to head home! I do a quick email check before I begin driving. I love to talk on the phone during my afternoon commute (safely, with a hands-free ear piece of course!), as that is my time to catch up with friends and family.

6:15 PM – When I get home, I do another email check before attempting to separate myself from my work phone for the evening. Then I get changed, eat dinner, and relax on the couch. If I have mental energy left, I might read something for work, for school, or for fun.  If I am lacking in extra energy, I might not leave the couch until I stagger off to bed!  I will, however, be multitasking by visiting various social media sites on my iPad for fun while watching TV.

9:00 PM – I’m in bed and trying to fall asleep, because that 5:00 AM alarm is rough without a good night’s sleep.

As a district administrator, no two days are the same for me. This is just one glimpse into my world.

What is a typical day in your life like?



About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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7 Responses to A Day in the Life of a District Administrator

  1. Brenda says:

    Amy, thank you for honoring our work, teachers from my site appreciate your feedback.

  2. Pauline says:

    Love your “Day in a Life” post. I think this post debunks the thought that district administrators just sit in their offices all day and eat Bon Bons. Haha! Thanks for sharing your leadership!

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