In our profession, few months feel better than August. New pencils, clean notebooks, and the notion of a new school year provide optimism. Conversations are filled with statements of “this year, I am going to” or “something I want to try is.” We focus with sharp intensity on the first lesson plans of the school year, our new professional goals, and the initiatives our school will be trying for the year. August is a great time to be in education.
In my experience, the biggest challenge to those feelings we have in August is October. In Michigan, our state procedures begin to show up early in the month with Student Count Day. Days later, standardized testing begins. The days begin to grow long, and many begin to settle back into their more comfortable routines of “what I always do.” More often than not, when we look back on our goals for the year that we set in August that we failed to achieve, October is where things started to break down.
Realizing this is a time of year when we start to slip off of our pace, let’s take some advice from Dan Hickey and “be intentional.”
October is the time of year when our “August energy” starts to drain. Recognize it and refocus your efforts. Overcome October.