It's the last term of the academic year, and that period when school administrators bother about the gamut of activities and tasks they need to complete to end the school year successfully, while planning for the next school year.
Ranging from ensuring that the examinations are taken properly in each class, papers are properly marked and scores recorded properly, to ensuring report card comments are done in the best professional manner possible, to organising the end of year events such as move-up ceremonies, prize-giving days and the graduation ceremonies. It's always one task after another, with barely enough time to breathe! I haven't even mentioned the end of year staff evaluations. Or placing orders for the next academic session, or even palnning the summer activities.
In this series End of Schol Year Procedures for School Administrators, I'll be sharing tips that will help you close the academic session in a professional manner, and hopefully, drastically reduce the overwhelm and exhaustion that comes with it.
When I was a younger administrator, the end of session came with so much exhaustion and fatigue and confusion. It was one activity after another and I barely knew how to handle the challenges that came with it. As time ⌚ went on, I learnt and continued to learn. And by the time I was on my second school administration job, I had figured out quite a lot six years after. And I must say I did an excellent job on end of term activities on my last job (which happened to be my fourth school administration job, fifteen years after my first).
So here is the first tip:
CREATE THE TIME FOR SELF AND TEAM REFLECTION
The end of the academic session certainly provides a time for you as a school leader or manager to reflect on the activities of the outgoing year.
Even though you've most likely included reflection as your practice all through the school year, this particular period calls for a comprehensive time ⌚of reflection on every aspect of the school year.
First do a self reflection before the time of group reflection with your team.
As a leader, manager or administrator, ask yourself the following and more:
How did I perform as a leader?
What skills did I learn and apply on my job?
Did I provide visible leadership during the pandemic? This question is particularly important considering the confusion that emerged as a result of the pandemic. This has been a unique school year, and I'm sure you'd agree with me on this.
What did the pandemic teach me as an individual and as a leader?
How much support did I provide to the staff under my supervision and oversight?
What was the feedback from the staff I lead about my style of leadership?
Did I provide clear direction?
How much did I improve on my emotional intelligence?
Did I improve on the areas of my leadership I had set out to do at the beginning of the academic session?
Did I achieve all my Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) I agreed with my employers for this academic session?
What was the feedback from the School Board on my performance?
Did I bring much value to my position this academic session?
If I were my employer, would I be happy with an employee who performed the way that I did?
What energy did I bring to work daily?
Was my presence motivating the staff in any way? Or was I the one bringing low energy while expecting the staff to work at their maximum best?
Did I consciously adopt a growth mentality throughout the academic session?
How many books 📚 on leadership and management did I read? And when I read, did I apply the learnings to make me a better supervisor or individual?
Did I bring any new things to the job this academic year? What programmes did I introduce or lead my team to introduce?
Did I grow in character?
What were the mistakes I made that I intend to improve on in the next academic year?
If I had a leader like me, would I willingly follow them?
Did I lead by example?
You can add more to this. I recommend that you use a journal for this exercise. Create at least two to three hours of your time for this reflection exercise.
And then, plan for a group reflection time.
On my last job, the three heads of schools were my direct reports - the Principal, Head of the Primary School and the Head of the Early Years. So I would usually have time where we met to review the term and the entire academic session.
We would look at our performance as a team.
From students academic perfrmance, financials, to customer service, profesional development for the staff, student enrolment, our events, the programmes, after school clubs and activities, staff discipline, relationship with the parents and the students to community service, and the various committees we'd set up. And lots more.
How well did we do with fee collection which formed a part of our KPIs?
How well did our policies and procedures do?
What aspects of staff disciline need improvement?
How can we expose our students to more activities in the next academic session?
What areas of professional development do we need to focus on in the next academic session?
How much of the training we did with the staff was actually applied on their jobs?
Do as much review as you can. Have at least two ✌ meetings with the management staff on this.
I recall that I used to make each head of school prepare their end of session reports for these meetings, and I'd make each of them make a presentaion while I paid attention to the figures. I asked questions and we forged a way forward on issues we'd encountered during the seesion even though we had dealt with these issues earlier in the school year. There are always fresh perspectives to listen to.
I hope this helps. Remember to subscribe to this blog right away so that you do not miss the next posts in this series and more.
Expect a post 📯 on another aspect on end of school 🏫 year procedures for school administrators.
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Nancy is a management consutant and life coach. She is the author of the books 📚 The School Administrator's Companion and Dear Educator. Nancy has been a school administrator in four reputable schools. She consults, trains and coaches administrators, managers and executives and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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