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Summer  A lot of people think that school administrators have the same schedule as teachers.  I am always sort of amused by people who say, “So what are you going to do this summer?  Any special plans?”  Their assumption, I guess, is that you lock up the school on the last day in June and then reopen it a couple of days before the kids come back in the fall.

In fact, there is plenty to do in the summer with closing out the old year and preparing for the new.  The paperwork alone is substantial, even without the grant writing.  Summer is prime time for building projects if you have one; if you don’t, the general cleaning, painting, and repair take a good deal of supervision. 

If you’re running a summer school, supervision continues.  There will be workshops or curriculum planning.  There are meetings and conferences.  Books and supplies will trickle in over the summer and you have to be sure the invoices are checked and the materials get to their appropriate classroom.  Typically a big part of the summer is spent interviewing new candidates.  This summer will probably be the exception.

What else?  Meeting with new parents and making sure their kids are scheduled or tested.  Talking on or off the record with teachers and staff who may drop in when they think you’re not quite as busy as you are during the school year.   The board of education continues to meet.  And there is planning, planning, planning.

Take time to refresh yourself.   Summer can be deceptive for a school administrator:  You can get a lot more done in a day that school isn’t in session.  No kids, no teachers – you can work for hours uninterrupted.  But it’s still work, and you still need to be recharged for the coming year. 

Yesterday I already saw “Back to School” ads.  Yikes!  So do what people think you do anyway – lock your office door and leave for a week or two (or more if you can).  Come back with fresh eyes and new solutions to old problems.


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Practical Leadership are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.