The excitement, glitter, and glam of the beginning of the school year has disappeared. It is September, you’ve probably been in school for at least one month and “normal” is trying to set in. This is the time that we tend to fall back into what we’ve always done. This blog is to alert you to what you may be feeling and to make sure you don’t fall prey to it.
We start the school year with big goals and big plans. This year, we are going to be the best educator and/or leader we could possibly be. We are going to be organized. We are going to show up each day with a great attitude, ready for whatever may come our way. We started great… and then a month later, we might find ourselves right back where we were last year.
A few things to remember to keep you moving in the right direction.
Each day, your focus must be on CONSISTENCY. For instance, if you set a schedule for yourself to complete tasks in a timely manner, no matter how tired you may be, no matter how much time it looks like you don’t have… discipline yourself to keep to the schedule you created. If your goal was to improve campus culture, no matter how much a few people may try to influence negativity, continue with the plan to infuse positivity on the campus.
Stick to Your Plan
Administrators, if you created a plan this year to help improve student achievement, it’s only been a month… stick to the plan. One thing we tend to do in education that is a detriment to us, is that we try things for a little while and then throw it away and go back to what we’ve always done, or try something else new. Remember, change can be painful. Just because you and your staff may be feeling growing pains doesn’t mean you need to abandon the new plan. Give your plan time to work. Stick to the plan.
Continue to See the Positive
As the school year progresses, sometimes it gets harder and harder to see the positive. Make a conscious effort to see the positive in every situation. The harder it is to see the positive, the more you should work to turn the situation into a positive. There could be a tragedy that you are dealing with on your campus where no positive can be found… instead of looking for a positive, make one… turn the time that you are dealing with the tragedy into a time that could bring your family of staff members closer. Learn as much as you can from the situation and create something positive out of it.
Education is a tough business. Educational leadership is even tougher. It is truly a work of the “heart” and many times that heart is broken over and over. Remember, anytime you commit to be better and to better the lives of our children, you will be challenged. Also remember, that only the strong survive… and many times, we are so much stronger than we realize.
Go forth and make this month of September an AWESOME one!
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.