Where did the summer go? Why does it seem to take FOREVER for the school year to end, yet summer “break” seems to finish in the blink of an eye? Ready or not, the new school year is here. We hope that each educator and student had a relaxing few weeks. If you taught summer school, be sure to at least schedule a self-care day to address areas of stress and anxiety before pre-school meetings begin. If you attended classes or worked, take a breather before orientation or the fall semester. If you are an administrator who does not get a traditional summer break, find a way to create some margin so that you can catch your breath.
This month, we have compiled two lists to help students, teachers, and administrators who are in constant pursuit of success. We hope these few suggestions will lead to deep thought, intentional care, and positive outcomes. You’ve got this!
Teacher, administrator, and student tips for a successful school year
Establish firm boundaries around your talent, time, and resources.
Create regular periods of decompressing throughout your day. Many are operating on sensory overload. Have moments of absolute stillness without a device and preferably in a dark, quiet space to help regulate your senses.
Invest in and develop your craft. Do not rest on your laurels! There are things you don’t know and areas you can improve. Invest in yourself and your students as you commit to becoming a better practitioner. Attend a conference, take a course, participate in a seminar, read research-based articles, shadow a master teacher, etc. The opportunities for improvement are endless.
Insist on a practical evaluation. Yes, I know you love your space, and nobody can adequately evaluate your teaching or administration by simply observing for a few moments. Yes, I also know that sometimes the one observing or evaluating is far removed from the tasks; however, feedback is key to improvement. If we insist on formative and summative evaluations of our students, what makes educators so unique that they’re exempt from the process? If not a formal review, find someone who will provide accurate, objective, and effective feedback.
Fall in love with your position all over again. Find your passion for the craft and embrace it. If, for some reason, you have lost your passion for your students’ sake, consider another path.
Find a fellow teacher or administrator who would benefit from your mentorship.
Sometimes we must acknowledge and audibly say, “This isn’t my circus, and it certainly isn’t my monkey!” Some issues are beyond our control, period. It is futile and a perfect waste of time to engage in trying to rectify those matters. Stay in your lane and get your job done!
Work at consistency and develop discipline. These two gifts are often the difference between success and failure.
Ask for help and do not wait until the 11 ½ th hour. Teachers tend to be more willing to help those who show interest. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!!!
Learn to say, mean, and use the word NO! If the request is not aligned with the long-term goal, your answer should be NO!
Eat balanced meals and exercise. A healthy, clear mind can function well, and exercise helps to reduce stress and induce quality rest. The body functions best when we sleep early and wake early. (I’m still working on this one, so please don’t think the author has it all figured out)
Have a plan. It’s alright if the program changes, but have a guide and work towards completion of the program.
Hold your teachers to a high standard. They have expectations for you, and you, the consumer, should have expectations of them.
Find a way to bring balance to your academic life. School can be stressful, so be sure to pad your schedule with activities or hobbies that bring you joy.
There is no reward for running yourself ragged! Use the resources on your school’s campus to help ensure success. Also, REST and do so often. Finally, check with your health insurance provider to see if they offer benefits for a gym membership, massage therapy, and counseling. Begin this academic year with a definite purpose and set out to accomplish it. Have a wonderful and productive year, Kaizen Insider!
Please share this month’s blog with at least one student, teacher, or an administrator.
Kimberly R. Douglas
Kaizen Educational Consulting