As I prepare for the beginning of summer school (Monday for admin, Wednesday for teachers), I have spent a lot of time thinking & planning this week. Information is coming at me from all angles! Along with the expected communication about students, IEPs, 504s, Health Care Plans, enrollment, staffing, curriculum, field trips, scheduling, food services, security plans, shopping, supplies, transportation, evaluations, etc, I have also been in communication with...
- Parents (answering all sorts of questions)
- Outside organizations (many of whom will partner with us this summer in one way or another)
- Businesses (who are willing to donate to us)
- Candidates (I am still short four staff members...)
Needless to say, there are a lot of emails flying around! It hasn't felt particularly overwhelming to me, but as I have started to put together an agenda for our one and only staff meeting that will take place next Wednesday, I'm realizing just how much information there is - and it's been hard to put all of those puzzle pieces together!
- What does the staff need to know?
- What would I want to know if I were in their shoes?
- How much information is too much? I don't want it to be overwhelming!
- What about team-building - how can this not just be a laundry list of details?
- How can I tie this all together in a way that makes sense and helps the meeting flow well?
- What about all of the puzzle pieces that we don't know yet?
With all of this flowing through my mind, I think I've come up with a workable plan. The meeting will still include a lot of logistics, but I am also working on developing systems of communication and a staff "hub" where information is stored so everyone knows where to find it later! And I am bound and determined to make time for at least one team-building activity, even though it feels like we don't have time for it. If we say to put relationships first with the kids, why should it be any different with the adults? As we move into the summer, I'm sure I'll fall flat on my face a couple of times, but hopefully everyone will be gracious as I learn!
My closing thought: Being a principal is like putting a puzzle together, trying to take lots of disjointed pieces of information & different perspectives and put it together (even with a few pieces missing) to form a great environment for everyone!