Do Principals Have to Work in the Summer?

As an administrator, I’m always getting the age old question, “What do you do all summer?” It tends to irritate me that people feel I have to justify my summer work but I usually do it any way. I guess in some way I feel I need to. If you are an administrator you know what I mean. You also know that it is long days without much interaction especially in July when anyone else working tends to take vacation. Unfortunately summer tends to be my least favorite part of the year generally because of the lack of collegiality.

This summer I am trying to be a more productive leader. For me in the past summer as been like this: June – catch up on everything that you let go at the busy end of the year and begin looking at test scores, July – take some vacation time, August – begin preparations for the new year. Not always that cut and dry but those are the basics. My wife, the teacher, calculates it like this: June = Friday, July = Saturday, August = Sunday. If you’re a teacher that will make sense.

This summer I tried offering some professional development but it was poorly received. Basically many reasons for that chiefly that I couldn’t require attendance and I had nothing to offer in exchange – no Act 48, no money, no exchange. I also have set aside an hour at the beginning of every day to explore my PLN, catch up on professional reading, and generally try to become a better leader.

My question to all of the educators out there: How do you spend your summer? Please don’t tell me “at the beach” because I might just cry!

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