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  June 2018: It Has Been a Good Year  
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By: Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director

By the time you read this, school will be out, and summer activities will be in full swing. Before you completely close the book on the 2017-2018 school year, take some time to reflect on the events of the past twelve months. I am sure there were successes, along with some things that didn’t go as well. Take time to enjoy some satisfaction in the positives. Too many times, those of us in this profession do not take the time to properly savor the great things our students achieve. There is always a new deadline to meet, another project to complete, and activities to supervise. Success is something to be proud of, and to properly enjoy.

Any program or teacher, no matter how successful, encounters some situations that don’t go well. Hopefully, by now the storm has been weathered and you are no longer in crisis mode. Thinking strategically about why things didn’t work out well is critical to not seeing a repeat. Examine where things went off track and how they could be handled differently. Conferring with teaching partners or administrators to collaborate on solutions may be the key to future success.

Summer may be a good time to look at some type of program assessment. We have one on our website that was created to be comprehensive, while only taking a few minutes to complete. You may find that some of the things we worry and fret over are not critical to our program, and some things we skate past are really the most important. At any rate, there may be some food for thought in creating a strategic plan.

Finally, take some time for yourself. A worn down, frazzled, burned out teacher is no good to anyone. Get some rest, take some family time, and recharge physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Next school year will be here before you know it!   

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