Many people think that summer time is a quiet and slow time for school administrators. In fact the summer months are often the most important time of the year for administrators. Why you ask? It it because during the summer months that school administrators should be taking the time to reflect upon the prior year, work on growth plans for the coming school year and tend to their own professional learning needs.
After ending the year in a flurry of activities, celebrations, exams, emails, and ceremonies it is really easy to want to take the month of June "off" even if you are still on contract. I would argue that taking this month "off" would be detrimental to the planning process. Taking time to reflect upon what went well as well as not so well over the previous school year helps to place the focus in two areas. The first area of focus is to examine the strengths of the year. What went well and why did it go well?
Take the processes that were utilized in the areas of success and apply them in areas that you feel could have been better. The second area of focus involves looking at what could have gone better, why it didn't go as well as planned and what needs to be changed. Remember to look at the processes from the areas of strengths and see what can be applied to growth areas.
When developing campus plans be sure not to include every single item that you want to do in the coming school year. Focus on the areas of growth. Write your goals so that you must work to achieve the goal and be sure to keep student learning at the forefront of your plans.
Summer time is also when most campus administrators tend to their own professional learning. Often this comes in the form of attending conferences and reading a new book or two. For me the question is what are you going to do with all of your new knowledge and inspiration you gained during your investment in your own learning? How will you take what you learned and implement the needed changes in a positive and supportive manner for your teaching staff?
As you continue to work your way though the summer months what will you focus on? How will you keep student learning at the forefront of the decisions that you make? What will you do that is different from what has been done in the past with the expectation of improving the teaching and learning on your campus?
Take advantage of the time you have in the summer months. Use the time wisely because it will go quickly.
Director of Instruction and Leadership Development
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
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