Summer is finally here! Students look forward to staying up late, going to summer camps, spending time at the swimming pool; high school students may be thinking about getting a job, participating in an internship, taking a couple of summer courses for credit recovery, or to free up their schedule for next year. It is a good time for them to get away from their computers, television screens, mobile phone, and smart devices and enjoy the outdoors, going hiking, and attending summer festivals.
For teachers it is a time to relax and recharge, spending quality time with their family - picnics, day-trips, camping, weekly film/game nights and more. Some may work on all the to-do lists that have piled up. Some may even have time to read a book or return to their hobby that has been placed on hold during the school year. For a least a few weeks they try not to think about learning a new curriculum, creating new lessons, thinking about classroom themes, how to redecorate their classroom, what methods need changing or the students who might be in their classes next year.
It seems like each year the school year goes by so fast and the summer goes by twice as fast - If we could only slow down the summer time! Before students, teachers, and administrators know it, the summer will be gone, and classes will be back in session.
But what about Christian school administrators? What is the summer like? For most Christian school administrators the summer is one of the busiest times of the entire year especially when the January to April time was spent on dealing with the daily challenges of the school and there was little time for quality planning. Furthermore, the month of May is usually taken up with closing out the school year. This is followed with student enrollment - ensuring that every classroom is full, ordering supplies, hiring staff, textbook purchasing and a hundred other items. Administrators will be blessed if they can take a couple of weeks off. If you have not marked your summer vacation days on your calendar, now is the time to do it!
In our book, Christian Schools: How to Get a School Going and Keep it Growing, we have eight full pages of a year-round tickler system. When these items are completed on a month-by-month basis, the summer will less stressful. (Order from Amazon.com)
It is important not to let the stress of all the “summer to-do” tasks to rob one of enjoying the summer. It is important to delegate and trust in others to assist and to share the load. Without a support system, school leaders will tip the scales in an unhealthy direction, both physically and emotionally, and eventually spiritually.
One of the techniques that I have found to be very helpful at the district and building levels is to build a summer administrative task and strategies list using an Excel spreadsheet. Not only do I create a list for myself, but I required all of our administrators to do the same. This ensures that all the important tasks get accomplished; hopefully, allowing for some vacation time. This same spreadsheet can be used by teachers in planning out their summer.
Below is a partial screenshot of one tab from the Administrative Tasks and Strategies Summer Task List. There are five tabs, one for each school division. There is a place to number the items and its priority ranging from 1 to 3 with 1 being the highest. The third column allows one to identify the category; for example, staff, office, Instruction, facilities, finances, students, equipment, or misc. There is a place to write a brief description of the item, a column for the estimated date of completion followed by a six-week update. I required my administrative staff to provide a report each two weeks. There is also a place to record the completion of the task. Macro buttons at the top allow you to sort the content within each column (you will need to enable macros when you open the document). Reviewing this comprehensive list might give you some ideas for your school.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this summer Administrative Task spreadsheet for superintendent and principals, please send me an email in the contact page. Use the message area to request a copy of this spreadsheet.
I trust each of you will have a great summer. Isaiah 40:31 says, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Make certain you provide some time during the summer for spiritual renewing so you will be ready for the new school year.