Keeping it in Perspective; Starting the School Year, Some thoughts for School Leaders

The new school year is rapidly approaching. A new adventure!

I was thinking about the start of the year as I was getting ready to start a triathlon last weekend in Indianapolis. This may seem a bit strange but I began to think about the similarities to how the start of a triathlon is like the start of the school year. People have prepared differently but are all there excited, maybe a bit anxious and focused on doing their best in the upcoming event.

We started the triathlon by running 1 by 1 into the water to start the race. I was waiting in line and I started to think of all the different ways triathlons start. I have been in group rushes to the water, floating starts. I have even seen people jump off barges to start the event. The starts are often very different; the goal is the same to successfully finish the event through the swim, bike and run.

Just like in triathlons, each school starts off the year different.

I think the start of the school year depends on the leadership and culture of the organization. In my years as an educator in building and district administration I have seen and prepared for lots of different starts.

Do we have big rallies with lots of excitement?

Bring in a big speaker to motivate?

Have building and district meeting to review policies and procedures?

Many of these starts had dubious long-term effect. Why?

I think the reason for a lack of carry-over is related to another learning experience from my last triathlon.

I passed a participant wearing a T-shirt with this saying on it “Keep it in Perspective.” It helped me finish the race.
As educational leaders plan and prepare for the start of the school year, I would ask that all of us “keep it in perspective.”

The starts will all vary but the perspective can never change.

We are in the business of educating all kids to be the best they can be. They are our future.

Keep it in perspective.




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