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20 Ways for a Principal to Make Mondays a Tool for Achievement

by

My love affair with Mondays started almost ten years ago. It’s my favorite day of the week. While many people dread Mondays because they see them as a signal that the weekend is coming to a close, I choose to view Mondays as opportunities to begin something new, to start over, or to change a course that isn’t working. Mondays are new beginnings that bring excitement, energy, commitment, and resolve.

I’ve used my relationship with Mondays an effective tool for achievement that has helped me transform my classrooms and schools, and it can help you, too.

Here is a list of my proven strategies to focus your Mondays on achievement and growth:

Mondays as an Organizational Tool

1. Make a quick visit to every classroom for a “Good Morning! Do Your Best Today!” greeting.
2. Calendar intentional interactions for the week with teachers, students, parents, and community leaders.
3. Review the past week’s To-Do list and bring forward any unfinished items.
4. Assign directly-responsible staff to upcoming special projects or events.
5. Review your strategic goals in preparation for your leadership team meeting.

 

Mondays as an Engagement Tool

6. Hold a brief clerical staff huddle to set an enthusiastic tone for the week, map out any upcoming events, and assign or follow up on any weekly tasks.
7. Meet with custodial leader and team to celebrate strengths, areas of improvement, and discuss any special events or projects that are occurring during the week.
8. Talk to students at breakfast, during transitions, or at lunch to elicit their opinions, hear their perspectives, and enlist them to help with initiatives around the school.
9. Schedule your school leadership team meetings on Mondays as a way to connect with leaders, review current data trends, revisit goals, alter course if necessary, and plan for upcoming professional learning sessions or new initiatives.
10. Speak with every teacher on Monday. You may only have a chance to say, “Good Morning,” “How’s your day going,” or “I hope you had a good day today,” but make the effort; connection to and recognition of the most important people inside your building – next to students – is a key driver in your leadership of student achievement.

 

Mondays as a Monitoring Tool

11. Review and give feedback on lesson plans or work products for which you are responsible.
12. Review discipline and attendance statistics or plan for hearing these in your team meeting from the directly-responsible person.
13. Plan for each leader to report on their respective areas of responsibility and provide time for collaboration when a problem presents itself in your leadership team meeting.
14. Talk actively with students at breakfast, during transitions, and at lunch to get a sense of what is happening and what prevention strategies your leadership team should employ.
15. Inspect restrooms, hallways, and other common areas on your walk to classrooms and give feedback to the custodial team.

 

Mondays as a Planning Tool

16. Plan classroom observations for the week and mark them on your calendar.
17. Plan any upcoming staff meeting agendas or professional learning agendas or assign directly responsible staff.
18. Plan for any serious or difficult conversations that are slated to occur during the week and mark them on your calendar.
19. Plan development opportunities for yourself, your leadership team, and your staff. It may be discussing an article that you provided; organizing a book study, visiting a successful school in action, or attending a conference. Create the mindset of continual learning in your leadership team.
20. Make one Monday a month your long-range planning Monday. Review your data, analyze progress, and begin planning efforts that extend into the next school year.

These 20 ways are a my GREAT start for any principal to make Mondays effective tools for student achievement and school transformation. Change your perspective on Mondays, and Make Today GREAT!

 

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