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End Strong to Start Strong

It's the end of the school year. You’ve been swamped with everything that goes into the last couple of months of school. You finally have a chance to turn your attention to those last PD days or staff meeting. You want to leave on a high note. You want to get a little ahead and maybe preview somethings for next year. Most of all, you keep hearing the phrase “end strong to start strong” in your mind.

What do you do?

If you’re like me, the phrase “end strong to start strong” probably makes you think of training; maybe running or lifting weights. We have this unconscious sense that ending strong means that it should hurt or at least be a little bit of a struggle. Even though this might not be our conscious intention, we have to be really careful that our design doesn’t lead to that outcome. This is not the time to try and build teachers’ stamina!

  • First--kudos for even being in a place to think about planting seeds for next year.

  • Second--don’t give up on your idea. You’re in the right place. Just be careful that you end with what you really want.

  • Third--reframe your goal by thinking about what you want to “end strong” with. Is it content knowledge? More professional practices? Burnout? What we really want to end with is a strong sense of accomplishment, growth, and positivity. Imagine that feeling you get after the hard workout. The one that motivates you to come back and do it another day.

How do we make this happen for our staff?

Here’s three quick ideas:

  • Ask yourself--what would really help you feel like you accomplished good things this year? What would that look like for the staff?

  • Don’t get stuck with “what you’ve always done.” If the end of year staff meeting hasn’t given teachers the feeling you’re hoping for, change it up. Rather than a sit and get meeting, maybe there’s an activity. Maybe during teacher checkout, rather than just your signature, they get a note with a personal message about something you’re proud they did this year.

  • Ask some of your staff--what would help you feel like you are appreciated and accomplished good work this year? What do you think other people would like?

What other ways have you found to “end strong?" Please share an idea below to help us all get better in our work!

Have an idea, but want some feedback? Send me a note or leave it in the comments below.

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