Author Archives: Scott

Moving on out

After many, many years of on again, off again blogging at this site, I have made the decision to move to my own self hosted blog and website.

My new blog will be hosted at

All existing posts and comments from this blog will be available at the new site.

I’m also in the process of giving it a bit of a clean up and a fresher new look.

For those of you that currently subscribe to my blog via email, I will be importing across any current subscribers later this week. Be sure you check your email and confirm your subscription. (Make sure you also look in your spam folder just in case!)

For those of you following by RSS, you will need to update your links to the above site.

If you have this site bookmarked, be sure to update the address to the new one above.

I have a new blog post coming out Sunday morning from my new site so be sure to check it out.

Reflections on 2017

I sit here, trying to reflect on what was the year of 2017.

My personality type dictates that there needs to be some order to this process. That it needs to be a logical, methodical process; not some random collection of sunshine, glitter, lollipops and unicorns. I noticed a post from a Tim Ferris somewhere (I think it was his 5 bullet Friday’s newsletter) where he talked about his process for reflection. As a big fan of Tim’s work, I thought if it was good enough for him that if was definitely good enough for me.

So, with my Google Calendar open beside my OneNote notebook, I went through and collated the highs and lows of 2017 in chronological order into my very orderly two column table.

The most glaring observation was that things I remembered most or really enjoyed about the year gone by involved people.

  • Musicals and performances with friends
  • Dinners with friends
  • Spending time away in Daylesford and the Yarra Valley
  • Catching up with close family in Ballarat or Gelong
  • Going swimming then heading out for coffee or breakfast afterwards
  • Seeing extended family for birthdays or BBQs
  • Spending time with my niece at Collingwood Children’s Farm
  • #beerpedagogy and celebrations with friends
  • My brother, Michael, staying over mid week if he is working in the city
  • Catch ups with past colleagues for drinks or birthday.

Whilst continuing with our cleaner and outsourcing our ironing come at financial cost, they buy me the time of being able to rest, to read or to spend it with others.

Professionally, a huge highlight was getting a substantive Assistant Principal position. This has been a long term goal but has also been a gigantic learning curve. Again the highlights of 2017 have been the work that has been achieved with people. Working with my principal, our leadership team, my coach, staff, students and their families to be their best bring me the greatest reward.

I continue to love volunteering with VicSRC for the ‘greater good’ of our education system and the wonderful team of people I get to work with why doing this.

2017 also brought with it some negative experience and definitely some lessons learned.

I’m glad to put the experience of renovating our kitchen behind us as we finished the project in March; many months overdue.

During the course of 2017, I heard many stories of others life experiences and situations; making me appreciate the simplicity of my own life and value more the simple things I can able to do that others can not.

Whilst I absolutely love my job, my biggest learning this year has been that I am not my job. This was evident most at the end of the year when I literally dragged myself over the finish line. (I was incredibly sick and forced myself to school on the last day of the year). What followed was a week in bed, a very subdued Christmas and the inability to interact with others or complete the most basic of tasks.

My personality type wants me to be the best. But at what cost? What good is a life if you don’t make time to live it?

So, as I prepare to jump into 2018, here’s to a year of saying no – unless it’s a ‘hell yes’. A year where I will be at the top of my list and take responsibility to be more than just my profession. A year focused on taking time to rest; to recharge; to smell the roses; to be in the company of family and friends who remind me of my essential purpose, who raise my standards and who challenge me to be the best version of myself.

PS: A shout out to Steve Brophy who so eloquently puts into words what my brain so often is processing and to Amy Green who’s work I have only recently been introduced to but look forward to exploring more.

Track your day

In a previous post, I wrote about how I am currently tracking the activities and work that occurs each day.

I started this task as I wanted to see what I was doing each day and where I was spending my time. Whilst I went into each day with a plan, I was noticing that the day rarely went to plan. I was frequently being interrupted from my work and wanted to see if there was any pattern or theme to these interruptions

Initially, I used a hard copy spiral notebook and would write down daily notes from meetings and conversations along with tasks that came up and I needed to complete. I liked its simplicity but as someone that uses a computer most of the time, I can usually type faster than I can write and found the process of writing slow and inefficient. I also didn’t like that I couldn’t ‘search’ my notebook. Finding previous notes meant flipping backward and forward between pages to find what I was looking for.

I have since moved on to digital format and am currently exploring Microsoft OneNote. I like the ‘notebook’ feel and the ability to create sections whilst having the freedom to move things around. I like that I can sync my notebook across my iPad, iPhone and computer and have my notes with me.

What it looks like

I’ve played a bit with the template I use to track my day, but my current format looks something like this.

The top of the page is dated – I’ve recently added in the term and week as part of the heading.I keep track of any CRTs we have in during the day and if the teacher they are replacing has APT.

At the beginning of the day, I track any CRTs we have in during the day and if the teacher they are replacing has APT. I keep track of any extra time I give to teachers to release them.

I also keep a note of any students I am checking in with for their behavior and the times I check in on them. I also keep a note of any students who are out of the yard for inappropriate behaviour.

Below here, I then track my work for the day. I keep a note of the start and end times and give each task a heading.

I highlight the heading with a colour depending on its context.

Underneath I then keep track of any notes.

I recently added in the ‘energy’ column as I wanted to see how I was feeling throughout the day. I currently give a score from 1-5 each time I start a task. A ‘3’ is average and on track. Anything higher and I’m on a roll. Below a 3 and I know my energy is fading.

I also added in the gratitude section as a way of keeping track of the great things that happen each day. It also serves as a good reminder at the end of the day to reflect on what’s happened and to find a highlight or something positive about each day.

Initially, I kept a section for each month and then used a page for each day. I then worked towards grouping my pages together in weeks.

I was grouping my notes by month but am thinking I might move towards having each term in a section and then group pages by each week.


I do wish though that OneNote had a little bit more grunt at times. I would like if it could perform calculations from tables I insert (similar to a spreadsheet) or create graphs based on the data I enter.

Whilst it’s great at keeping notes from conversations, phone calls, meetings etc.. it’s also not really serving my purpose of knowing where my time goes each day. At the moment, I need to manually go through to add up the hours and collate the data.

Do you track your work? If so, how? Do you use any tools to support you to do this?

What patterns have you noticed as a result of tracking your work?