Haircuts, fresh starts, and dead weight.

Last weekend I got a haircut, and I had several inches trimmed from my length. I loved my longer hair, but as the inches grew they became less vibrant, and I realized those extra inches didn’t serve much of a purpose. Summer’s-a-coming, and this shorter new “do” made me think about what we, as educators, need to let go of this summer in order to start fresh in the new school year.

Old lesson plans? Resistance to change? Grudges against colleagues/parents/administrators?

Teachers -what standby lessons do we continue to pull out of the filing cabinet year after year, despite the fact that we know they’re becoming more ineffective as the years pass? How could we tweak our delivery and lessons to include the integration of more technology, collaborative opportunities for students, and project creation? Instead of using common planning time for cursory collaboration/complaining/housekeeping tasks, how can we use the gift of time to engage in more meaningful collaborative planning sessions with colleagues?

Administrators- the summer months are when we actually have the chance to breathe and reflect upon the year. Did we spend enough time in our classrooms this year? What structures and routines can we put into place to make sure we devote more quality time to supervision in the coming year? What tasks did we complete this year that were dead weight- just sinking us into a deeper hole we feel we can never get out of, sucking the energy right out of us?! How can we streamline our work day to make more time for what’s most important? What supports can we put into place to help our teachers and students shine and meet building initiatives? How will we empower teacher leaders to support us in these endeavors?

Summer is a wonderful time for reflection, and as it approaches, I hope you will consider how you can plan for a “fresh start” in 2010-2011!

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