Monday, August 4, 2014
At the Teachers College Record, Eleanor Drago-Severson reports on her study of how school principals renew themselves and avoid burnout. Her study applies to us as well.
The following list details their renewal strategies (in order of most common and most emphasized in interviews to least). Interestingly, and importantly, most of the supports were strategies they employed to support themselves and not supports provided by others.
Spending time with family and friends
Reading independently and/or participating in book groups
Dialoguing with school board members, trustees, and/or school site council members
Carving out time for reflection and retreats
Attending conferences, delivering talks, and speaking with other principals at conferences
Learning through formal programs and fellowships
Using some portion of the summer to get away from school
Talking with mentors and mentoring aspiring or current principals
Connecting with universities and principal centers
Participating as a board member in professional organizations
Talking with and observing students
Appreciating art and music
Participating in reflective practice groups with principals
Professor Drago-Severson emphasizes the need to give school leaders more opportunities for reflective practices. Her article led me to realize that professional conferences are important reflective times for me. They give me the opportunity to talk with many friends and acquaintances who have the same interests and professional passions as I do. You can read the full article here.