Hello! It’s March and you have reached the “sprint” portion of the marathon that we call the school year. While you’re there in the midst of the sprint, please consider what’s coming soon and what you need to do to make the most of it.
OK, so this is actually about the coldest few days we’ve had in Georgia all winter long, but, yes, it’s time for you to think about summer. More than think about it, you need to plan it. Failing to plan is planning to fail. It won’t be enough later to say, “but I was busy…” If you want next year to be as effective and efficient as it can possibly be, you need to make that happen this summer.
And, if you are going to have a productive summer, NOW is the time to design and develop your plans. Don’t worry; we are here to remind you, and to direct you in your planning. As a matter of fact, there are three big things you need to do this summer. Ready?
- Complete the necessary tasks to end this year/prepare for next year. Yes, you need to get things done. Facility work; hiring; duty rosters, scheduling; student handbooks; orienting new faculty and staff; record-keeping; data analysis; planning for student achievement. Here’s a hint: FOCUS
on whatever it is that needs to be done. Don’t get off track. Delegate to others on your team. Find an “undisclosed location” to get work completed. Don’t try to be the summer office manager and do the work of the principal as well. Don’t be lulled by a false sense of plenty of time. Keep going at a rapid pace and get things done as well as you can as soon as you can. No dawdling, people! Let’s get that list of things to do made, schedule a realistic plan for accomplishing them (that you put on your calendar) and then get it done!
- Professional Growth. You need to reflect on your work from this year. What did you do well? What did you do poorly? What do your people need from you that you aren’t supplying? What is around the corner that you need to learn about? (STEM? STEAM? Instructional Technology?) Reflect, develop a needs assessment, and then prioritize. Try to get better at one, two, or three things this summer. Connect your summer professional reading to your profes
sional growth priority. It’s all about consolidating your resources, using your time, and staying on focus. Don’t try to learn and get better in 15 different areas this summer. Focus. Focus. Focus.
- Rest, Relax, Regroup, Recharge, Refresh, Recover, Renew. Plan for your time away and take it. If your system is working four ten-hour days in the summer, don’t come in on the fifth day “just to get a few things done.” You NEED to process yourself this summer. It means that you ne
ed to sleep. You need to rest. You need to let that brain take a break. Read a Danielle Steel novel or watch all five “Die Hard” movies. Do nothing. Go on vacation. You need to plan your time off, but you really really really need to take time off. Let your mind have time to refresh. With some time away, you’ll be ready to come back and do well. Sometimes you need to be thinking about nothing to be able to get the great ideas (all those ideas that have come to people in the shower? That’s not an accident… it’s brainspace that we don’t often allow). Put some vaca on the calendar. It’s equally important as the first two items mentioned here. You need all three to be ready for next year.
So, why mention this now? Because if you’re not careful your time will go by this summer and you’ll do a smattering of each of these but not get all (or any) done as well as you’d wanted. It’s easy to get wound up into things other than these three things. People who mean well but have all the time in the world drop by your office in their bermuda shorts and flip flops and hang out. Doing work that really isn’t yours to do, often because you didn’t get other people to do it before they went to summer break. That’s why you need to get planning now.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, and you don’t want to get an ‘F’ in Summer. It would be a bad start to next school year.