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Getting organized

January 28, 2010

Hello again,

Of course a DOS needs to be well organized, but often it seems as if juggling skills are needed. It is part of the job description that you have to handle ...

...the unexpected: the morning when not one but three teachers go sick; there has been a burglary; a prospective client wants to see round the school without advance warning; a student needs to be taken to A&E. Well, you get the picture.
So, bearing this in mind, we can say that the three key areas the DOS need to organize are time, people and resources. Time management is important even though you know you will never have a standard routine. It involves ranking tasks according to priority, being tidy so that you can always find what you need, learning how to stop people wasting your time, whether on the phone or face to face, and having back-up systems to help when schedules fall behind.
Organizing people is the toughest of the duties a DOS has. You have to timetable the classes and assign the teachers to them. There are always people who will find fault with what you do there! To keep disruption to a minimum, hold a pre-timetabling meeting so that you can explain what is needed and the teachers can express their wishes. In fact consultation is the best way of handling all the people management issues. If you have posts of responsibility to assign, discuss the possibilities. If it seems fairer, you could even rotate the posts on a termly basis. The main thing to remember is that you want a cooperative team not a group that harbours resentment.
Resource management is also of crucial importance, as having the right teaching aid available at the required time is necessary for good teaching. Again this needs the cooperation of all. Delegate responsibility where you can so that people feel involved in looking after the resources.

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