The Merry (Harried) Month of May

Earlier today my rather lengthy state of the school message was sent to our school community, so this blog entry may be too much of a (good?) thing for those who have read that missive.  It has been two months since I posted on this blog, which supports my take on its topic: the curious time we call May in the school world.  We actually used to call it June, but that has changed here in Arizona and in many other parts of our country.

I realize that it is May for everyone in the world, but it has a distinct feel to it in the world of schools.  In schools May means endings of various sorts, and that variety provides a multi-faceted quality to the “feel” I referenced in the previous sentence.  There is certainly a frantic quality for many of us as we rush to complete the tasks characteristic of the end of the school year (and gives context to my lengthy absence from this page).  Conversely there is a sense of achievement when these tasks are completed successfully.  And in schools there are major moments to celebrate at the end of every year, graduation the most notable.

After spending so many decades of my life in school settings in various roles – student, teacher, and administrator – I have come to accept the bifurcated emotional texture of May.  It’s hard to be even keel for most of us.  It’s mainly highs or lows as the orderly rhythms of school life vanish in the one-off circumstances of the end of the year: final projects and exams, unique and special events, achievement milestones such as graduation or grade completion, people leaving, people joining.  This week Dan Heischman, President of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), provided great insight in his weekly meditation sent to school leaders about this phenomenon, which he dubbed the weariness factor.  So I am especially aware that emotional and spiritual balance is very elusive but all the more important as a result during this time we call May.  How much better it is if we are able to avoid becoming wound up as the school year is winding down.

Until next time…

My best,

Leo