I try to end every Friday with my self-designed “Kanban Checklist.” This half sheet of paper forces me to systematically review the past week, tie up loose ends, and plan for the week ahead. As I look at the coming week, I review my goals for the year and calendar action items related to those goals. While occasionally pushed to my Sunday morning office time, this process is critical to my ability to focus on the mission aspect of my job versus the maintenance aspects of my job. And, of course, at the center of this ritual are my goals. 

A mentor of mine told me that goals are like limbs – any more than four are imaginary. Following her advice, this year I am focused on four goals. They, of course, have plenty of initiatives and projects. Here are my four goals and a few of the most notable initiatives for each goal: 

  1. Realize Planned Program Changes & Further Grow Our People and Programs: From our new social emotional learning programs, to the Readers and Writers Workshop implementation, and 5th and 6th Grade STEM courses, we are taking on a great amount of program innovation this year. I will be supporting this work while ensuring that we continue to support and grow our curriculum and pedagogy. Included in this goal is the redesign of our report cards.

  2. Strengthen Communication & Build Community: Throughout the year, I hope to clarify and increase school to home communications to create more windows into school life. As part of this effort, I plan to write more regularly for Thank Goodness It’s Almost Monday, my blog. I will also continue to be a regular presence in classrooms and at community events.

  3. Finalize Foundational Systems: With outstanding leadership and increased staffing in the business office, we will next focus on streamlining billing processes for greater transparency and ease. We will also look to better utilize technology to streamline behind the scenes processes.

  4. Strategically Plan for our Continued, Future Success: Using input from parents, students, and faculty, I will work with the Board of Trustees to write a Strategic Plan that will guide our future efforts. Growing student enrollment through focused admissions and marketing efforts will remain a top priority.  

I am not alone in being goal-oriented. This summer I was able to meet with my newly redefined administrative team and share my goals with them. They, in turn, have developed their own goals that build on these four priorities, while ensuring success in their particular roles. With all oars pulling in the same direction, we are rowing into an outstanding school year.

I think I’m alone, however, in not leaving my office until the items on my to-do list are all checked off.  It’s my only way to relax!