An unintentional consequence of my intentional decision to step away from serving in a school as a principal to serving many schools as a consultant has been the need to establish a new rhythm to the summer months. While there is certainly down time in the summer for a school’s faculty and staff, the summer months for school personnel provides the time necessary to “reboot” the business of the school in order to prepare for the next learning year. Weekend events, church festivals, summer sports, building work, cleaning projects, new school packet preparation, school tours, enrollment details, creating teacher schedules, hiring, room assignments, handbook changes, website updates and curriculum work filled and ordered the days. We often counted down to the start of the school year worried we wouldn’t get it all done in time. The days were clear, hurried and numbered.
As my summer rhythm has less order, I am ever more grateful for the work being done in our schools. I am grateful for the time committed by teachers, staff and leaders to summer preparations in anticipation of the new school year. I am grateful for the countless hours, long after the students have left the buildings, teachers devote to advance their own learning, instructional practices and curriculum planning. I am grateful for the time, energy and money teachers spend creating a classroom environment that is conducive for learning. I am grateful for a school calendar that naturally builds in time for this “reboot.” I pray our teachers and school leaders also find some time to lose track of a day, enjoy a bit of summertime fun and “reboot” their own spirits so when the children enter their classrooms for the new school year they are refreshed and ready to tend to our most precious gifts.