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Balancing Multiple Priorities? SA Operations Staff Share Their Secrets to Success

What do SA Operations Staff do when buildings are closed? They work even harder! At the beginning of the school year, our ops staff distributed thousands of devices and learning tools to our scholars, managed hundreds of events, and helped families begin remote learning — all while handling hundreds of phone calls and emails about everything from glitchy tech to finding wifi service. It’s safe to say that you need rock-solid time management skills to juggle so many priorities — something we could all use a little advice on. We reached out to our ops staff members who are crushing it. They are not only gracefully managing the demands of their jobs, but many of them are simultaneously juggling the demands of parenting during the stressful time of remote learning. Just how do they handle their stress and stay productive? Find out below.

Pause and Reflect


“My mantra is, Today’s stress is tomorrow’s lesson. I schedule a ‘weekly meeting’ with myself to reflect on the week and read through everything on Trello, our project management system, to see what’s on the horizon for ops, leaders, and teachers. Building out processes like this allows me to set priorities for my team ahead of time and not feel overwhelmed.”

King Faulkner-Ajanku is a BOM at SA Bronx 2. He is a father to five children, two of whom attend SA. His kids like to come in on Saturdays to decorate the building and read.

Do The Easiest Task First


“When I’m having difficulty prioritizing and feeling overwhelmed, I take a look at everything on my list and do the easiest task first. This makes me feel accomplished and keeps me working toward more complex projects that need creative solutions.”

Grisett Bueno is a Senior Operations Associate at SA Crown Heights. She finished her MPA while working and caring for her four-year-old son, and believes you can do anything you put your mind to. 

Find Your Why


“Remember ‘the why’ behind your outcomes to help you prioritize. If it’s scholar safety, it should automatically be a priority. Also, use your calendar to stay ahead of deadlines. It seems simple, but estimating time to complete ahead of time is so important.”

Nya Crawford is a Senior Operations Associate at SA Harlem 1 and the mother of an 18-year-old.

Plan for Disruptions


“You have to know what you can control and what you can’t. For me, that means knowing other tasks will come up last minute no matter what. So during less hectic times of the year, I use my free time wisely to plan for things I know are coming down the pipeline. When those other tasks inevitably come up, I am able to fall back on my plan, and my other priorities don’t fall to the wayside.”

Nana Alawiye is a Senior Operations Associate at SA Harlem West. She is the mother of three children.

Written by Success Academy October 2, 2020

Subjects: SA Operations Team

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