What Can You Possibly Have To Do In The Summer?
Update: This post was inspired by Chad Everett’s post about the work of back to school.
Since starting my new job as Assistant Principal at D. C. Everest Senior High School, I have had many conversations with friends outside of education about the work that happens during the summer months. Responses range from “What can you possibly have to do in the summer?” to “You haven’t started work yet, right? I mean it’s summer!”
What many in and out of education don’t understand is that summer months allow admin to accomplish the most (in term of logistics). During the summer, students have gone and staff numbers drop drastically. This is when the boring “grunt” work happens: summer newsletters, planning for meetings throughout the year, filling unexpected and expected vacancies, planning social media strategy, reviewing thew master schedule for last-minute changes or shuffling for staff changes, and on and on. The differences between the school year and summer drive the nature of our work.
- During the summer, administrators can take the time to accomplish these tasks, because during the school year we spend our time focused on clearing the road so teachers can teach and students can learn. During the school year, our days get blown up by student behavior or parent concerns or district mandates.
- During the summer, administrators have a more flexible schedule, so they can balance work with home a little more easily. During the school year, school, students and staff dominate our thinking and actions.
- During the summer, administrators try to get out and meet kids and community members in non-school settings so they see us as people, not just admin. During the school year, we move out into classrooms to observe and deal with whatever drama the day may hold.
So, while summer presents different types of work opportunities, those opportunities still exist. If we use our time wisely and well during the summer, we hope that students, staff, and families don’t notice anything because we have done our work well enough that it just runs smoothly.
On a final note, our teaching staff also does quite a bit during the summer. While some staff members take all summer away to re-charge – some need that time to be their best for students the next year – others are working just as hard, if not harder to make sure our students have every chance for success. You may see them in their yard relaxing one day, but did you notice the other days that they served on interview committees or planned professional development for their peers or mentored the new hire so they could transition into the building smoothly?
How have some of my edu peers spent their summers getting ready for the new year?