Summer is a time to take a break. The oppressive heat demands that we slow our pace and up our intake of cool beverages. Clear skies invite us to get out see the world around us. My sincere hope is that you are using your summer break in a way that feels rejuvenating and purposeful.

*Shout out to all the readers in the southern hemisphere in the midst of winter. Cheers! 

As we slide through the peak of summer, the start of the school year is beginning to come into view. Now is the time to start slowly sliding back towards our work as school leaders. Another year bursting with promise awaits!

Here are a few ideas for steps that you can take to get yourself ready to start the new school year on the right foot.

Clean Your Office

Before you have a thousand people stopping by for support or a to-do list a mile long, get your space in order! We talked recently about the value of making your office a place that is welcoming to teachers. When your office is both organized and beautiful, it sets you up for success too!

As you organize your office, take the time to really think about how you use the space. What do you need readily available? What can be tucked away? How can you adjust the lighting and paint colors to soften the mood?

Finish Last Year’s Stuff

Do you still have a few small projects from last year that you haven’t completed yet? Now is the time! Just get them done and move on. Or, if it is bigger, get a good portion of it started and ready to hand off to someone else or finish at the start of the year.

The other option? Let it go and decide that now is not the time. Give yourself permission to not follow through with every big, wonderful idea you have. Maybe there will be space for this idea in a future year.

Fill Out Your Calendar

A lot of your year is already planned for you because you are a part of most major school events. Summer break is the perfect time to open up your calendar and put in every single thing you have planned from now through next June.

Here are a few things to think about adding:

  • School Holidays
  • Staff In Service Days
  • Planned Vacations
  • Back to School Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Re-enrollment Week
  • Testing Week
  • Regular Staff Meetings
  • Parent Conferences
  • Professional Development Events
  • Medical Appointments

As you move through the rest of the school year, you can plan easily without overbooking yourself. It is easy to let little things like this slide, but it is SO worth it to take 20 minutes and just set up the whole year!

Get Some Support

You are amazing. You are not, however, invincible and capable of all things at all times. One commonality of successful leaders across sectors: they have a professional community and mentors. Support is key.

I belong to professional groups for people like me. I work one on one with a business coach who specializes in working with entrepreneurs who are also mothers. My choice to invest time and money in this way pays off in numerative ways. It will for you too!

Here are a few ways I can support you:

  • Montessori Leadership Facebook Group: This is a private online forum for people in leadership roles in Montessori and other progressive schools. Here you can ask questions, share your knowledge, and celebrate success with other leaders.
  • Reflection & Planning Tools: This free e-course gently guides you through a process of reflecting on your leadership and making a concrete plan for your week. Step off the hamster wheel and move from putting out fires to leading with vision. Use the tools in this program to make it happen!
  • One on One Coaching: Professional leadership development for administrators serious about growth. For the fall semester, you and I will work on building up your vision and breaking down your obstacles. I will be there with you every step of the way to cheer you on and push you when you need it. This is for leaders ready for significant personal growth only!

However you do it, find ways to build community and get support. It will make a huge impact on your productivity and your sanity!

While I know that your role as a leader never stops, I also know that summer break in the northern hemisphere is a time of slowing down. As you begin to look forward to a new school year, ask yourself what you can do now to make it start off smooth?

Summer break is almost over. Set yourself up for success with a little organizing, planning and catching up. Get yourself some serious support, and get ready for an amazing school year! May it be the best one yet.

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