We are teaching our oldest son to drive. Overall, it is going well given the fact that there is a 15 year old behind the wheel who has selective hearing and really doesn’t think his parents know that much. Anyway, last week we decided it was time to try the interstate. After asking Jack to turn down the music on the radio we merged onto the road and I gave him three pieces of advice.
First, I reminded him that he had to maintain a reasonable speed. If he went too fast he would be out of control and if he went to slow he could get rear ended. Second, I told him that he needed to make sure to look behind him. This was essential if he was going to be able to move over before the merging lane merged. Finally, I advised him to make sure that he also kept his eye on the windshield so he didn’t inadvertently hit the car ahead of him. And of course he had to do these things simultaneously with both hands firmly planted on the steering wheel.
This time of year administrators have one foot planted in the current year and the other in the upcoming year. During these last months of school revisiting driving tips may help keep your school on the right course.
- Maintain a reasonable speed– Now is not the time to shut down. There is still a significant amount of instructional time left in the year. We can’t afford to waste one student’s’ time so nix the movies and the artsy crafty projects that masquerade as learning and keep students engaged in cognitive relevant tasks. Now is also not the time to speed up. It goes without saying that adding any new initiatives at this point in the year is a bad idea.
- Look behind you– This is the time of year when both impact and implementation data around the school improvement plan should be reviewed. What does this data mean? Identify the things that worked to keep you focused on goals and move or modify the efforts that didn’t keep the school on the right track.
- Look ahead- Revisit the collaboratively shared vision for the school. Does everyone in the school know where you are headed? How will your school look different at this time next year and what steps do you need to take to make that happen?
It’s so easy to get distracted this time of year with end of year celebrations, changes in staffing, parent programs, etc. Turn down the noise and keep both hands steady on the wheel so you will arrive at the end of the year with the results you desired.