I'm Jiae Kim, and This is How I Work

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+Jiae Kim  is proud to serve as the principal of Spicewood Elementary School. She is in her first year as Principal at Spicewood after joining Round Rock ISD from Connally High School in Pflugerville ISD. She is a graduate of UT Austin and excited to share how she stays productive each day.

Jiae Kim
Location: Spicewood Elementary School

Current Gig: Principal

Current Mobile Device: iPhone

Current Personal Computer: MacPro

One word that best describes how you work: Promptness

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?: My phone will be my top choice for various reasons. I love taking pictures of many different occurrences of great teaching and learning throughout the classrooms at my school then collage them to share with staff, parents and community via blog posts and newsletter. I'm also constantly relying on my phone calendar, which reminds me what lies ahead of me throughout the day and week with pop-up notifications. When I am off campus or am not near a computer, I check work emails on my phone frequently in an effort to ensure effective and timely communication with all stakeholders. How did we ever live without our phones? It's amazing what the little device can do! 

And whoever made google drive with all the shared documents and forms, you're geniuses. Your teachers have taught you well, my dears.

Conference table in Jiae's office
What's your work-space like?: I've been told by multiple central office personnel that I have the biggest office in the district as a principal. I took full advantage of my spacious office and placed a large conference table that would seat 8+ people. Our campus uses my office to hold SST meetings, instructional leadership meetings, administrative meetings and more. Having a projector and a screen anchored in the middle of a wall on one side helps us immensely at our meetings. I'm a very organized person so everything is usually either filed away or purged within a week span to avoid cumulating piles of papers and documents. I purge a lot of paper documents, if I know an electronic copy exists somewhere. I'm not much of a decorator myself but I do take pride in being a Longhorn so I have a few UT gears displayed in my office. Overall my workspace is clean, organized and fairly simple.

What's your best time-saving trick/life-hack?: I try to put almost every task/appointment/walkthrough schedules on my google calendar so I do not waste my time throughout the day. When that pop-up notification reminds me to stay on task, I'm more likely to do so! My rule of thumb is not to exceed more than 20 new emails sitting in the Inbox. I check my email first thing in the morning when I wake up just like Laurelyn has mentioned. That's the best time to clean out your inbox and start fresh. I mark important emails that need follow-ups as 'unread' so I can go back to it later.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?: At work, it's the projector in my office. Since I like most everything in electronic format, it's super helpful to have a projector in my office for various meetings mentioned previously. It promotes most personnel to stay on task with visuals and engage themselves via active participation in meetings. 

At home, it's my iPad. It's just a bigger version of my phone- purely awesome! 

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? What's your secret?: I love being visible throughout the school and in classrooms, and making sure I am able to call on each and every child by his/her name. I make it a priority by standing out at the front of the school every morning- rain or shine- greeting parents and students, getting into classrooms to learn every child's name and communicating my deep care and interest in my students' education constantly. Learning every student's name has been challenging but I'm about 95% there with 770 some students of mine.

What do you listen to while you work?: At work I listen to nothing so I can hyper-focus. At home and working is a different story; I have my TV on just because I can. :)

What are you currently reading?: I'm currently reading The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. I love all of his books. My favorite is Tuesdays with Morrie; I highly recommend it to all educators. Once I'm done, I plan to purchase Amy Tan's new book, The Valley of Amazement that I heard about on NPR on the way to work a few weeks ago.

Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?: I can't decide on one. I can definitely be gregarious in group settings; I, however, certainly need to spend some time in solitude after spending my energy with people in order to recover and rejuvenate.

What's Your Sleep Routine Like? I usually get ready for bed around 8PM, be in bed around 8:30PM then fall asleep around 9-9:30PM on week days to wake up at 5:30AM next morning. On the weekends, I may try sleep in a little but it usually doesn't work since my body clock wakes me up so early.

Fill in the blank. I'd love to see _______ answer these same questions.: +Nicole Hagerty  at Canyon Vista MS, Kim Winters at Grisham MS, Terrell King at HR and +John Yonker  at McNeil (my alma mater)

What's the best advice you've ever received?: Always ask away; the worst you'll ever get in return is a no. When I have identified the needs for support or opportunities for professional growth, I've always asked my former principals and executives for help and support. For the most part, I've always received the support and guidance I needed at the time. I truly mean it when I say to my staff, students and parents, "do not hesitate to ask away!"

Is there anything else you want to add for readers?: It's been an honor to join the RRISD family this school year and I truly appreciate the support and encouragement I've been receiving from all around. Spicewood ES doors are always open to my colleagues in the district; our campus craves for constructive feedback as we're a reflective community of people. Please let us know how we can grow!

Thanks, +Jiae Kim ! Who in Round Rock ISD would you like to learn more about how they organize their daily lives and seem so productive? Comment below or send suggestions to Ryan Smith