In an effort to diversify communication methods with teachers, principal Adam Paulson is considering expanding a new initiative called “Track Hours,” where he and staff members can walk around the athletic track and discuss any topic of their choosing.
“Track Hours” are time for staff to meet me at the track and check in about any topic,” Paulson said. “It is good to get up out of your seat and change your environment. I feel walking and talking provides a healthy way to get some work done. We read so much email and need to make sure we make time to connect face-to-face.”
According to math teacher Cynthia Chen, participating in “Track Hours” offers a more engaging, useful alternative to conventional meetings.
“Sometimes an office meeting is hard to schedule because Mr. Paulson is very busy. With ‘Track Hours,’ he’s guaranteed to be there, and you can drop in any time. The meetings are still private, but I do like that it is informal and that we get some exercise.”
Paulson said he was inspired to initiate “Track Hours” in December 2018 by Gunn High School Principal Kathie Laurence.
“She has been doing this for a while and has told me it was a great way to check in with staff,” Paulson said. “I am glad I took her suggestion.”
Given the positive impact of Track Hours, Paulson said he may increase the frequency of Track Hours next year.
“(I plan on participating in Track Hours) at least 2 hours a week, but hopefully more next year,” Paulson said. “Right now it is open to staff, but I might consider students if there is interest.”
This proposal has already received support from several people, including sophomore Ethan Hwang, who said students should be involved in “Track Hours” as they can shed light on different aspects of situations that would otherwise be overlooked by staff.
“I think it’s a great idea because students definitely have a different perspective that isn’t necessarily represented in the Paly admin. If I were talking to Paulson, I’d probably talk to him about the d— bell schedule.”
Chen agrees with Hwang that students should be able to participate in “Track Hours” to improve communication.
“I think it’s reasonable for students to have direct access to the administration to voice their thoughts and/or concerns,” Chen said.
Junior Ashley Guo is also extremely supportive of implementing student “Track Hours” with Paulson.
Guo said she would appreciate more insight on administrative views and beliees that Track Hours would help provide that perspective.
“I would be down to take a lap around the track with Mr. Paulson because I’d not only be more comfortable sharing my own concerns or experiences, but I’d also like to learn more about his perspective behind why some things are the way they are,” Guo said.