by Ace Thompson, Principal, Boylston Elementary School, Boylston, MA
It’s funny to think this in June, but in many ways, that is what we celebrate in education. The last day of school is akin to New Year’s Eve. The build-up, the excitement, the count-down (I know someone in the building has the countdown posted), but also the reflection and the promise of something new. The new school year starting in August or September, depending on your district, is New Year’s day – there is just a long time in between.
Every January it has become a general tradition for people to look back and reflect on the past year. The end of the school year is an important time for administrators to do the same. Find the time to sit down and look back at the school calendars or Twitter timelines. Reflect on those wonderful moments and celebrate those successes. Remember the story of little Suzie telling you “this is the best school ever.” Hopefully, you have plenty of images of smiling children, learning, experimenting, and enjoying school. As the children are winding down, ask them what are their favorite memories of the year. It is amazing to learn what little things had the most profound effect on your students. These are the moments they will remember years into the future. How can you capture these moments and repeat them for students in the new year?
This is also a great opportunity to make those “resolutions.” You know those things you make every December 31st and oversleep/can’t start on January 1st. This is your chance. What do you wish you had done differently? What could have run more smoothly? You now have two months to work through these problems. That is what will make these resolutions stick. Do you want to spend more time in classes? Block it off in your calendar now! You wish staff meetings were more engaging? Start planning now! How is that pile of education related books doing? Now you have time to read up on what is most current in our field. The summer is our chance to turn dreams into realities, to have the time to actually sit and think without the constant interruptions. Enjoy this time, because it will pass quickly.
Soon enough it will be the first day of school all over again. A fresh start, a new year’s day. The best day of the school year, full of hope and promise. It all starts with the last day!
A school year reflection through the Principal’s Twitter feed.
Ace is the Principal of the Boylston Elementary School which is part of the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District. You can follow his school blog or find him on Twitter @ace_thompson.
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