I sure don’t see how.
Ping-ponging between assorted parent communications, monitoring student count and budgets, helping with registration, attending departmental and board meetings, reviewing emergency procedures, planning for open houses, and staying on top of 31 other “duties as assigned” makes our lives on our district teams, well… interesting to say the least.
But don’t you just love it?
There’s definitely something special about all that goes into our Back-to-School countdown.
The smiles and the unbounded spirit of our incoming students are contagious.
They inspire us to ramp up the effort for rolling out a proper welcome mat.
The wonderful feeling of anticipation within our schools on the first day of school is rare.
It’s uniquely ours.
For in no other setting do young and old alike share the same “butterflies in the tummy” jitters that come with the arrival of new experiences and people.
Even the most seasoned educator gets nervous on School Day One.
Who could argue the first day of school of a new school year isn’t amazing?
About all one could argue (I guess) is that the first day of school is so anticipated and so amazing all by itself that school leaders and communicators aren’t really needed to hype it up much.
School Day One is able to draw big crowds on the right day and time seemingly on its own.
Perhaps one could ask – while under the influence of a Back-to-School euphoria – “who needs school leaders and communicators anyway?”
And I would answer it this way.
It’s true that on the first day of school, school leaders and communicators are nudged to the sidelines.
After all, the bulk of the energy and activity on this day typically comes from students, teachers, principals, our frontline school support staff, and parents.
This is how School Day One and every school day should be.
If we weren’t on the sidelines (maybe catching our breath…) we’d probably be in someone’s way.
The excitement and energy that were on bright display in our schools on Day One has faded.
And will continue to fade away on Day Three, Day Four…and so on… if we let it.
Day Two is our signal to get back in the game.
The direction we set for our new school year must be guided and promoted.
And this takes engaged and effective leadership.
It also requires the nurturing of our community’s conversation about our schools and public education.
We’ll need to make good decisions.
We’ll also need to create the stories in 2014-2015 that people will want to hear and share.
So go ahead – join in the first school day celebrations in your district.
You helped make them possible.
But be ready for School Day Two… and all of the school days that follow.
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