I always get weird looks from people when they ask what I am doing now that the school year is over. Here's an example of the exchange that so often occurs: I start with the reply that I am still working. What, still working, but school let out a week ago? Yes, I'm working until the end of June. Well, you will have a nice break until school starts. Me: I go back on July 21st! People are always floored. Sometimes, I am too, in the weary end of the year moments, but now that a week away from kids/teachers and the end of the year hustle has passed, I am very thankful for this time at school alone.
So, what do I do with all that time in June? I get to really reflect and think about what we did well as a school and what we can improve upon. Moreover, I think a LOT about what I can do better as a leader. This is my time to really dive into some professional reading and networking on Twitter. I branched out and hosted my first Twitter chat yesterday (#coltslearn). During the year, I would NOT have time for that (or perhaps make time for that during the year). I learned some new things about our Colt staff that I might not have known had I not asked the questions onTwitter. I also participated in two chats on top of that yesterday. Doesn't sound productive? Well, maybe, maybe not, but it is great to hear different perspectives and different ideas come together around one topic on Twitter. I have some great new educators that I am now following as a result of last night. I know that I will continue to learn more from them when I check in on my Twitter feed. I love my Twitter professional development and cannot recommend a better free professional resource than Twitter.
I also get to catch up on journal reading. I am a member of several professional organizations and enjoy their publications. During the busy school year, those journals sometimes pile up and get put on the back burner. I like to read articles and then pass those onto people that I think would also enjoy and learn from them. Professional reading helps me keep abreast of what is happening in teaching and education beyond the walls of this campus. I like to read and digest what we could possibly implement in our instructional program here at McCall. I have created a page called "Professional Book Blurbs" on this blog that you can view what I have read and a quick summary of what the book is about. I am an avid reader both personally and professionally. Perhaps you will find something on that page which will inspire your thinking as well.
The other big job to tackle in June is the completion of hiring. While I try my hardest to get teaching positions filled before the last day of school, something always puts a kink in that plan. It's life and it is what happens, but the quiet of June allows me to cull the database and try to find great candidates for our positions here at McCall. So far, we've interviewed: second grade teacher candidates, secretary candidates, and paraprofessionals. Hiring is a big process, so it is nice to have June to look for great people, talk with people and see how new teams will come together in August.
One of my main personally professional June/August goals is to get my blog really up and going. I am looking forward to writing and publishing a lot more next year. I am hopeful that I will get some jazzy graphics up and for it to be a place where inspiration occurs all around. It is my hope that everyone who reads my blog can know a bit more about me as a person and and as the lead learner of an AWESOME campus.
Next week, I will get to attend an ASCD conference and will make a point to write about that conference in an upcoming entry.