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May is Hug a School Administrator Month

Posted by Scott Barron on May 9, 2014 2:57:18 PM
Scott Barron

Red FlowerApril showers bring May flowers. After such a long, hard winter we're all ready for spring, but the spring season brings with it some big challenges for school leaders.

May is "Hug a School Administrator Month"

Why is May such a big deal? Because of all these major activities:

1. Non-Renewed Employees

This is the time of year when some school employees must be informed that they will not be renewed for next school year. Even though this school year has a few more weeks or even months, someone somewhere decided that it was a "good" idea to tell teachers and staff prior to the close of school. I've not heard of other organizations that use this risky HR practice, but schools habitually go through the ritual of dealing with disgruntled employees who continue working with their students and potentially disrupting the experience for all.

On the other hand, retention of faculty is one of the most important decisions that school administrators will make this entire calendar year! Strategic evaluation and selection of faculty has the greatest impact on student growth and performance. These decisions should not be made out of fear, but rather from a standpoint of strong leadership.

2. Spring Fever

Seniors are graduating this month, and the rest of the student body is gearing up for summer plans. Dumb behavior often spreads like a virus, and sometimes leads to difficult discipline decisions for the school. Should that senior be allowed to walk for graduation? What accountability does the school have for parents who allowed such activities to go on in their home? Do we really have to do cheerleading tryouts now? How should the parents be disciplined for fighting in the parking lot after field day? These are stressful times, indeed!

3. Recruiting

Student and faculty recruiting remains a priority in May, while some students are not planning to return next year so they've already started disconnecting in their relationship with the school, peers, and teachers. Enrollment and hiring decisions are very important as the plans for the upcoming school year begin to take shape, and sometimes compromises are made in the process because the days are so full. Do references really have to be checked? Does it matter if no one has actually seen that teacher teach?

That's why this is "Hug a School Administrator Month." Lots of other factors may contribute to the stresses of May (e.g., graduations, field days, field trips, report cards, exams, testing), so take a moment to express your appreciation to a superintendent, principal, and/or head of school today.

If you are school administrator, take time this month to stop and smell the roses. They're beautiful! And it's important for your health and well-being to remember what's really important, keeping your heart and mind in the right perspective.

Topics: Administration, Leadership, Culture

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