By Beth Yoskovich
One of my daughters frequently tells me “Mom, I don’t know how you stand your job, it’s one big interruption!” And then we both laugh, because it’s true. Anyone who has ever worked in a school office knows exactly what that means. Phones ringing, students who are ill, copies to be made, a newsletter to write, parents with questions . . . the list goes on and on.
I’ve always loved the work I do, and the advantage I have now is 18 years of experience, during which I’ve learned some things about how to stay on top of all the tasks that I am responsible for. Sure, I still get behind, forget things, and occasionally lose paperwork. Then there are those days when I think I have everything under control, only to realize one of my plates has dropped and I need to discover a better way to manage my responsibilities.
Over the years, I’ve learned when to ask for help when I’m bogged down, when to say no, and also to take time to attend seminars and classes in areas that I know will help me better manage the office. The last lesson seems counterintuitive, because it takes even more work to be absent – such as finding a replacement to cover you and make sure everything is taken care of before you leave.
And when you return, you’ll have to work harder to catch up. However, the time I’ve been away to grow and learn has proven invaluable. Through classes or conferences I’ve attended, I always learn something new and come back refreshed, ready to face the hectic pace of the school office.
The practical ideas I’ve shared are important, but the most vital thing I do for myself is to take time out to be with the Lord. I do that by keeping a couple of daily devotionals in my desk drawer and make it a priority to read at least one of them every day.
Especially on the busiest days, when I just need to take a deep breath, stop what I’m doing, take out one of those devotionals and refocus on why I am here. Then I pray. If I believe that God wants me here, working in His ministry, I also have to trust He will give me what I need each day.
If I believe that God wants me here, working in His ministry, I also have to trust He will give me what I need each day.
I can truly tell you that He will, and He does; every day He gives me the strength and joy I need to serve and embrace all the interruptions.
This was originally written for the May issue of Michigan In Touch. Beth Yoskovich has served in the school office at St. Paul Lutheran School, Ann Arbor for 18 years. Currently the Administrative Assistant, she enjoys working with students and staff. Beth is a presenter at the 2015 Michigan District Office Personnel Conference, sharing practical tips on how to keep organized in a busy school office setting.