January is oftentimes seen as a new beginning. Truth be told, for educators, our year begins in August. Our world is seen in two halves. The first half is called the fall semester. The second half is called the spring semester. January for us marks the halfway mark. We are officially halfway through the 2018-2019 school year.
This is the perfect time to stop and assess procedures and systems and determine whether or not they are successful. After you assess, there are three conclusions of which you can decide.
1) What we are doing is working… continue doing the work.
2) What we are doing is working, but could be better with a minor tweak…. Make the tweak and continue the work.
3) What we are doing is not working… abandon and try something else.
All three options are important; however, number 3 can be tricky. When abandoning something, you must be careful of timing. You have to consider whether or not you have given it time to work. You also have to consider if abandoning it in the middle of the year can have adverse effects. Bottom line, for option 3, think in terms of if nothing changed, would I negatively effect students. If the answer is yes, then abandon quickly and find a new course of action.
What’s most important is that the conversation is had with your leadership team. Enter the discussion with an open mind. The key is remembering your WHY… and hopefully kids are part of that why.
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.