Lose Yourself…Find Your Desk

Tammy Jackson's picture

In June, the "Behind the Scenes" view of a building administrator's job resembles chaos at its best. The typical regimen during this time is jumping from one culminating event to another leaving little opportunity for "seat time." The result, you lose sight of your desk.

Once the last event concludes and your students walk out the door for summer break, you are left to sort through the stacks in order to wrap up one school year and prepare for the next. Yet in part, your motivation and energy walked out the door with the students!

I always found that I had to become very task-oriented during this time of year. I had to plan to focus so that I could complete what needed to be done before I could walk out the door for a much-needed break. My secret? HIDE! Administrators never get to hide. As a matter of fact, you rarely get to be out of sight. You need to give yourself permission to get lost, so you can find your desk.

In the last five years of my career as a principal I found the secret to wrapping up the school year. I would get a large box, put everything on my desk in the box and then leave! Once in my secret spot, I would begin sorting through the box and make stacks. The stacks included those things that must be done before summer break, those things that needed to be filed or tossed and those that could wait until August.

Once the sorting was complete I would create an action plan, which laid out when I would complete each task and what I needed to gather to complete it. When I returned to work the next day I would be all set to begin the plan to end the year.

Your secret spot has to be a place where you can work interruption free. Turn off your phone, do not check your email and stay off social media. Since your students are gone for the summer, you should be able to block off a day or the better part of a day for the purpose of losing yourself in order find your desk.

My secret spot was typically my camper. Sometimes it was parked in the woods or sometimes in my driveway. Either way it was my happy place filled with good vibes, peace and tranquility. One time, I actually rented a hotel room and spent 24 hours all by myself.

No matter where it is, find your secret spot and then hide in it so that you can find your desk!