Getting in the Flow or "The Slow Clap"

My first full week of the school year is complete. So far, I absolutely love what I do.  It is completely different everyday, full of puzzles, people and practice.  I’m dedicated to looking at this with the beginner’s mind as I go through each day.  My colleagues come to me for help and to learn but I want to make sure I’m learning from them as well.
image (1)I’ve decided to keep some data about how my time is being spent as I start the year.  So far it is about what I expect.  There’s a larger portion for parents right now because of open house presentations.  That will level off soon enough I’m sure.



The majority of time being spent on ManageBac is no surprise either.  With new staff and the transitioning process into the new year there are always some bugs to work out. ManageBac is a great LMS, but it takes a little getting used to and is constantly being improved.  It can be challenging for new staff to get comfortable with the system.  Especially when you add in getting used to a new school and life in a developing country.

I’m hoping the data can help me not only demonstrate the value in my position to my supervisors, but help me understand how to develop future trainings and workshops.  I’ve already adjusted my categories a few times as new things have cropped up throughout the week.  I’m sure it will continue to morph.  If you’ve ever done anything like this with your work and want to share ideas, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Finally, I have to share a highlight from the week.  (My family does this at the dinner table every night by the way.  A great practice to get our kids talking and sharing)  There’s a little backstory here before we get to my point.  At some point last year, I convinced the high school staff to give me a “slow clap” as I began a presentation because we all need to take ourselves a little less seriously.  Anyway, somehow it kind of stuck and was a reoccurring event throughout the year.

Back to the present times.

We had a consultant come in to work with the entire staff on implementing our new vision this week.  I volunteered to write for him on the board and a colleague from the HS got the slow clap going.  There was some confusion from the lower school, but they joined in and there were smiles and laughter all around as I danced my way to the whiteboard.

I don’t share the scene to brag.  In fact, I would usually rather be behind the scenes than in the spotlight.  I share it because one of the first steps to becoming a successful coach is building relationships.  As I made my way back to my seat and heard the chuckles and saw the smiles on my colleagues faces, I couldn’t help but feel positive about the relationship I’m building with our staff.  How others perceive you can be one of those things that is hard to measure.  However, moving into this new role with a slow clap under my belt, I’m feeling like I’m off to a good start.

I hope you’re week has been as good as mine.

One of my all time favorite movies.  I get a little teary eyed every time.


  1. Hello! I’m enjoying reading your blog so far as part of the #ETCoaches Blog Challenge! 🙂 I’ve never actually tracked my time like that, although I often say that I should. What are you using to track it, if you don’t mind me asking? As an ITS who *really* wants to move closer to the ideal of an ETC, I think that the data provided by truly tracking time spent wearing the variety of hats needed would be greatly beneficial. But I also don’t know how much time I have available to track my time, if you get my meaning. 🙂

    Looking forward to learning with and from you during this time!


    1. Ryan Harwood says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Angela! I’m just using a spreadsheet I’ve set up to track my time. Its far from scientific, but it gets the job done. Check it out and let me know what you think. I only track direct contact. So it doesn’t include all the email conversations and Google Chats that I have throughout the day. But its a start. Look forward to learning with you as well!


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