Summer is an exciting time for educators, but it can also be a challenging one. Planning feels like the last thing you wanna do…summer is when we get to reset, reflect, and renew our commitment to the reasons we do this job in the first place. My June was always spent in reflection mode. What went well? What didn’t go well? Where did we go off plan? The new year was too far off to really plan for, but this month of closing it all down was crucial. An autopsy of our school year allowed us, through hindsight, to see what we’d missed and how it had happened. Then we’d get a lil’break and coming back in July meant it was time to start thinking ahead.
Best Practices for Summer Leadership and Planning
To overcome the challenges of summer and ensure team success, leaders must be proactive in their planning and communication. Here are some best practices to follow:
Set Clear Expectations
At the start of the summer season, it’s essential to communicate clearly with your team about what is expected of them. I made meeting calendars and developed any “new” protocols. Establishing a skeleton of a timeline meant as my team started coming back, we had an outline to start with. By setting clear outlines and directions, you can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Obviously, there are calendrical things we know are going to happen. I’m also a big believer in that if you can predict it, you can prevent it. BTS chaos? Traffic flow pushback? Make a plan to address thoroughly on the front end. In “Lead With Appreciation” we talk about how to work ahead for the big events/days and who can support you in all the many capacities. (Budgets, plans, snacks, etc.) If you’re a theme person, (and really, shouldn’t you be?) you can start divvying out tasks and responsibilities to prepare for what you have planned. This also helped with budget allocation and knowing where we were heading as a leadership team.
Pre-Train Your Team
Leadership meetings, retreats, and refreshes are all opportunities for you to expose those who you see as leaders on your campus to the campus vision and a recommitment to the values that are crucial for a culture of achievement.
Technology can be a valuable tool for summer leadership and planning. Consider using video, texts, zooms, shared calendars, etc., to track progress and ensure that everyone is on the same page. A closed FB page is a great place to share summer memories or future plans with your team. We used to schedule Facebook posts to connect with our families as well. Keep up that page traffic!
Don’t forget…you need a step-away break as well.
Effective leadership and planning are crucial for ensuring team success but
Take time for naps, lunches with friends, and read some nonacademic, potentially simplistic novels. (I share all mine on the IG, if you’re interested!)
More summer planning resources:
May this May find you winding down, wrapping up, and getting ready for summer. You’re almost across that finish line!