For many principals and other school based administrators, today ends the 2nd week of activities. For most, the teachers returned some time last week, and the students came this week. I recall being overjoyed at the return of everyone for the beginning of the school year. I’ve ALWAYS loved late Aug/early Sept for that reason, no matter what my particular role in school was at that time.
The planning and preparation goes a long way. That’s why many good administrators continue to work long hours in the summer…. so when the unexpected happens during those first two weeks, plans are in place to help the administrator to focus on that event.
I think no matter how hard folks like me work to prepare future principals in order to have the starting of a school year ready to go, I find it hard to demonstrate how many unexpected scenarios can happen that impact the administrator’s work during those first weeks with staff and students. One example I remember was having emergency road work that caused a couple busloads of students to be late to school, and that’s a fairly mild unexpected event. I think the best preparation for school administrators is in understanding that unexpected events will happen always, but especially in the first couple weeks of a new school year. In order to maintain a positive climate, it’s important for that school leader to continue to focus on the relationships he or she is cultivating and improving every day and not of the frustrations of plans gone awry.