Today’s Tip:  Prepare to Take a Break.

Leadership, to be effective, has to start with empathy.  This is hard to do when you are tired and out of gas.

You have worked hard to make this school year positive and productive for your school community.  As the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving, give yourself permission to enjoy the break.  Here’s five steps to do this successfully:

  1. Make sure you are in the GREEN for the day you return from the holiday break, Monday, November 29.  It will be much easier to disconnect from your professional work and reconnect with family if you know you’ve planned for your first day back.
  1. Let your staff know you are proud of them and their work.  Let them know you are disconnecting from your work for Thanksgiving and encourage them to do so, too.  Tell them that it is necessary to find joy their work each day and that is much easier if they take a break to recharge.  Let Thanksgiving be a time of relaxation and rejuvenation.
  1. Truly disconnect.  Turn off your cell phone.  Avoid email.  Tell your staff to try this, too.  Make a game of it.  Let your family/significant others know you are going to try this tech disconnect.  How long during the break can you leave the virtual and embrace the real?
  1. Set your email to auto-reply “Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.  I love leading our school and am disconnecting from tech during the four-day holiday so I can be my absolute best for students and staff when we return to school Monday, 11/29.” 
  1. If you are working this week show your gratitude for the people who work with you and students.  Schedule Celebratory Feedback sessions with three different staff members:  a teacher, support staff member and a student.  Let them know how much you appreciate their work and value them as people.  You will feel better, and they will feel great.