I was recently reading a professional journal when I ran across an article that shares the same title with this article. It was written by a head of school from the Midwest. He had several interesting ideas which sparked my thinking.
While my list might be a bit different than yours, it would be good for you to prepare your own list as we head into the summer months. You might borrow some of my thoughts and blend them with your own (like I did with my list).
So, what items make my Top 10 Summer To-Do List?
- Read. Effective leaders must block time to read. The mind needs re-invigorated with new ideas and perspectives. Don’t succumb to the temptation to “pleasure” read only.
- Send surveys—to parents, to faculty! Ask purposeful questions to discover areas of strength and weakness.
- Plan. Someone has well said that “if you fail to plan, you must plan to fail.” Effective planning time in the summer months will bring success during the school year.
- Turn off the world. Try to find at least two different 2-3 day spans where you can “disconnect” from your email, twitter, facebook, etc. No fair counting Saturdays and Sundays.
- Review. Look back over this past year. What worked? What did not? Learn from both the success and failures.
- Listen. Spend some time talking with faculty and parents. Ask them to complete the statement, “To improve our school, the leader should ___________.”
- Expand your horizons. That’s right! Do something new. Maybe something that you have wanted to do but have not taken time to pursue. Look for something that will allow you to relax without great expense or time demand.
- Grow. Whether taking a grad class, developing new tech skills, or pursuing mastery of some skill or subject, don’t see summer as a time to “veg out.” Growth makes you stronger and pays great dividends during the long months ahead.
- Write. Maybe begin with something small—an article on the school’s website, a blogpost (be a guest writer). Part of leaving a mark is making a mark (literally). Writing is an exercise that can benefit both the doer and hearer. Take the plunge and write.
- Chill. Can’t believe I said it, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I don’t normally use that term. It is very important that educators use the summer break to enjoy a vacation time with family. Even if you do not travel to some far away land, take time to “Chill!”