The end of the school year brings many emotions for students, staff and parents. Traditionally, it brings graduation or recognition ceremonies for specific grade levels. It may also bring going away parties for staff retiring. Of course, the end of the year also brings so many endless but needed endeavors that close out 1 year and begin the next year.
As a school leader – what aspects do you take time to reflect and celebrate, with both your staff and you personally, that moves your school forward? That simple question sheds a lot of perspective on what we are placing our time, focus and values on as a leader.
From my perspective for our school, the celebration includes:
- FOCUS – The “intentional steps” our staff took to help transform our classroom instruction from a traditional model to creating engaging student experiences focused on skills that leads to high academic achievement.
- POSITIVITY – The school climate we have created that is based on our interactions with each other through positivity and kindness that promotes a school community where students and staff feel they belong.
- TEAMWORK – A shared vision that is modeled by staff throughout the building that places an emphasis on “what is best for kids”.
- “IT TAKES A VILLAGE” – A strong partnership with the parent and school community that is established by being visible, accessible and communicating in a clear, consistent manner.
- EMPOWERMENT – Giving our staff opportunities to help lead professional learning and be the change agents within our school.
- STUDENT LED – Creating opportunities for students to lead within our school day and giving students a voice in their school by listening to what they think is working and what needs changing so we can improve.
Most importantly, it is critical to recognize that staff were willing to take risks to grow, and at times, we failed, but we learned from our experiences and that opportunity gave us greater insight into becoming stronger educators.
These aspects were shared with our staff as we reflected upon our journey from this school year and it clarifies the importance we place on that work and focuses our journey even more into next school year.
At the end of the year, everyone wants to start summer and rightfully so. However, it is also important that at the right time and in the appropriate manner, to share the celebrations through reflections that tell your story and how your staff have made the school year a success for students. It is through these conversations that staff will truly recognize and understand the importance of what we celebrate as a school community.
I look forward to hearing from you about your thoughts on what you celebrate within your school community that moves your school forward. Comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org