It's cool to be an educational speaker in August. Back to School month varies its dates around the country so if you play your cards right, you can work every day and get your fiscal year off to a blazing start. As a principal who valued this time of year, it's fun to see how different parts of North America prepare their teachers for a new season. I've been to so many school and district openings that I'd love to go back and try some of the cool ideas I've come across. That being said, there is also some common ground during this time of year. No matter where you go, there is an aura of excitement that is really palpable in August and September. We are a unique industry and we get a do over every year...how sweet is that?
It is, therefore, imperative that our site and district leaders capitalize on this energy. Two things make sense to me during this time of year and can be accomplished at one time. One the collaborative culture needs to be established immediately. Teachers need to work in teams, both by department/grade level and interdisciplinary. There needs to be different opportunities for voice and the sooner we get started, the better. The team task is easy for day 1; we need to update and refine who we are and what we represent. Ask teams to tell stories about our organization at its best and identify why it matters. After a few stories, you'll start to see common themes developing. These themes are the reminders of what makes us great should be a part of your vision and core values for the year.