The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

The off-season begins……..

As educators, we’re finding ourselves enjoying those first few days after the school year has ended. Late nights, stress, grading, and lesson plans have been routine for the past several months, and it’s finally time to take a step back and rest. However, just like professional athletes, as educators, we must take advantage of our off-season and improve.

So while I do encourage taking some time to sleep in, reconnect with friends that you haven’t had much time for recently, and to maybe spend a day or two at the beach, it’s also time to focus on how you will become a stronger professional. Next year is right around the corner.

Take some time to reflect on the past school year. What went well, and what could have been better. Offer an honest assessment of where you are strong and what needs to improve, then set some goals about what you’re “training regiment” will be. Consult with some colleagues (if professional football players can organize their own practices during the NFL lockout, surely teachers can do the same) and get thinking about how to make next year even better.

A mentor of mine has always encouraged me to “make this year the best of your entire career.” To do that successfully, we must always be innovating, improving, and thinking of new and creative ways to engage our students, staff, and community.

This summer, as I prepare to move into a new building, I’ll be working on the following:

– Learning more about strategies to engage parents, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged.

– Learning more about Emotional Intelligence, which will shape the Professional Growth year for our support staff.

– Learning more about quality classroom instruction, which will be a big focus of our teaching staff this year as we take a step back and work on our “core product.”

If you are inclined, in the comments section, feel free to make recommendations on what I should read, but also feel free to share what you are going to do this “off-season.”

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