Downtime for Principals?
It is the beginning of summer and schools are quiet. Some principals enjoy spending time away from work; a chance to be with family and friends. The school year is officially over, but for effective school leaders, there is still much to do. While many are slowing down for break and maybe even planning vacations, the transition into summer is actually the perfect opportunity to reflect, re-energize, evaluate, and start planning for the future; to begin building something better. Some principals take stock only during the year, then shut down for one to two months and start planning in August, which results in the same hectic beginning-of-school festivities. Great school leaders avoid this mindset, knowing that preparation and learning do not take a break.
Plan for back to school professional development
Many teachers and support staff received their end-of-year evaluations that identified a specific need for professional development. June is a great time to develop those in-service plans and create opportunities for staff to improve their skills.
As leaders, it is important to anticipate the vision and focus for the coming year. End-of-year staff surveys can help support what is to come in the fall. When staff participate in this planning, more robust growth can occur, invigorating teams as participants in the learning rather than passive receivers.
Close out the year with data
June is the perfect time to reflect upon and measure the successes and opportunities for improvement in programming from the past year. With the extra time June usually affords, more dedication to reviewing and adjusting can reap advances in direction and focus for all.
This month gives leaders a chance to examine data from the past year, and see what progress has been made and where to focus the energies of the school team in the coming months. Leaders can make use of time to close out the past year and work toward another great school year, as the cycle of the school year will quickly begin again.
Catch up on reading research or attend a conference
With less on principals’ to-do lists, effective leaders make time to attend conferences and catch up on professional reading, networking, and connecting with peers who share in the sometimes daunting role of leadership.
Take care of self
June is a time to re-energize oneself as a person, realize the good one does to help others, and take a moment to recognize the impact one has on the lives of children. June also allows more time to spend with family and friends and offers the opportunity to spend time outdoors, allowing one to enjoy some exercise and take care of oneself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
June is the perfect opportunity to maximize one’s impact personally and professionally.