The constant grind of the normal school year halts for 3 months each year. For 3 months, I can breathe. For 3 months, I wake up feeling much lighter… for the weight of the world is not on my shoulders. For 3 months, I am not running against the clock to get to work by 6:45am, be in the hallway by 7:10am, be in my office to do announcements by 7:30am. This 3 months is called SUMMERTIME! It can be easy to rush through the summer and work the whole time as you do during the school year. It can be easy to sit back and do absolutely nothing since you for R & R.
Take the summertime to allow your body to rest. Allow your mind to take a break from the rush of the school year. Turn your phone off and unplug from the world, if only for a few hours a day. Forgo checking the work emails every hour on the hour. Try checking the emails once a day and set a time limit on how long you will work to return emails. Turn the alarm off and allow your body to wake up naturally.
Reflect on the previous year. What worked well? What did not work well? What do you need to continue to do? What do you need to tweak? What do you need to discontinue? After you reflect on the previous year, create a plan for the upcoming new year. Devise a well-thought out plan, based on the previous year’s data, that you and your team can commit to follow throughout the year.
Now, get started Resting and Reflecting!
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.