May 17, 2022 | The Community

By Kim Smith

For a school leader, every month is busy but May and June can be especially challenging. These are the tips our Self-Regger, Kim Smith, wants to share with school leaders to help you head towards the summer in a happy and healthy way.

What’s on the school leader’s year-end “to do” list?  Is your own well-being? How do you recognize the specific stressors that are impacting you every day? Tip 1 – recognize your own stressors and ask yourself “why?” and “why now?”

A school leader’s day can feel overwhelming and result in few tasks getting completed.
Tip 2 – find things that bring you joy around the school and include them in your routine every day.  Visit a kindergarten class, play a game or read with a student, and have some fun!

As a school leader do any of these signs of overstress relate to you?  Self-reg helps you understand your stressors and focus on ways to reduce them so you can end the school year on a high note.
Tip 3 –  recognize ways that help you feel calm – a walk, a warm drink, a good book?

The multiplying effect of stressors can make a school leader’s day challenging. Tip 4 – slow down and think about what you can do to reduce your stressors during the day. Close your door for 10 minutes, take a deep breath, call a friend, and sit quietly.

Yearend activities may cause school leaders to not have the energy to handle difficult conversations in an effective way. Tip 5 – remember to reframe behaviour in difficult situations and look at people with “soft eyes”.

As school leaders planning for September how can you make self-reg a priority in your school? Students must feel safe and supported in order to learn? Tip 6 – share the self-reg framework with your staff and model how it can make a difference for everyone.

What do you do as a school leader to be calm and to share calm during the day?  Tip 7 – being visible in the school, smiling, saying good morning are ways to connect and start the day in a positive way. 

To be our best as school leaders we need to have restorative activities in our routines. Tip 8 – it is essential to enjoy a good sleep, healthy eating and any other activities that restore our energy so that we understand and reduce our stress.

Some students find the end of the school year very stressful. The safety and routine of school can be missing over the summer for children. Tip 9 – think of ways to support children to make the transition from school structure to summer flexibility. 

Want to learn more? We update this blog daily with more Self-Reg tips from Kim Smith, stay tuned.

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