April 2017
Volume XIV Issue IV

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Download The Just ASK 2017 Closing of School Checklist


Bruce Oliver

Bruce Oliver, the author of Just for the ASKing!, lives in Burke, Virginia. He uses the knowledge, skills, and experience he acquired as a teacher, professional developer, mentor, and middle school principal as he works with school districts across the nation. He has written more than 150 issues of Just for the ASKing!  He is also a co-author of Creating a Culture for Learning published by Just ASK.


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is to be implemented at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. As we get ready to wrap up the 2016-2017 school year, I am proposing an “alternative act” called the Every Educator Succeeds Act (EESA). Below are some of my thoughts about how the act should play out.

I suggest that each professional begins implementation of the EESA by placing the following titles at the top of two separate pages:

  • Accomplishments for the 2016-2017 School Year
  • Disappointments for the 2016-2017 School Year

Use the first document to jot down actions and results that occurred during the school year of which you are proud. These can be small or large, mini-steps or giant steps, work with students, communication with parents, collaboration with peers… any and all positive achievements. Review the document slowly and take pride in the work you have done.

Next, take the second piece of paper, tear it into shreds and throw it in the recycling bin. It has been a tough year for many of us and we do not have time to dwell on disappointments. Put the stressful situations out of your mind. Take the high road. You work too hard to focus on the negative.

Instead of spending another moment on the negative, use your time to tell a co-worker how much you appreciate their support and camaraderie. Maybe present them with flowers or a small token representing how you feel. We are surrounded by strong support systems, but sometimes as we are cleaning out our desks and preparing our rooms for summer cleaning, we forget to tell others how strongly we feel about them.

Then, send several parents an email, text message, or, better yet, a hand-written note to tell them how much you have learned from working with their children. Yes, our primary responsibility is to make sure that all children learn, but we learn a great deal from our students as well. And, we must not neglect to let our students know how much they have meant to us.

And as the year comes to a close, do not forget to tell your family and loved ones how deeply you care about them. Being an educator is a tough, tough job and sometimes we become consumed by our responsibilities. Let’s be sure to tell those special people in our lives that although it may seem we are completely focused on our jobs, deep in our hearts we are clear that they are the most important people in our lives.

After you have completed all these joyful tasks, take a seat in a comfy chair, put your feet up, close your eyes, smile, and remember that you are someone’s hero.

Now on to a spectacular school closing!


Permission is granted for reprinting and distribution of this newsletter for non-commercial use only. Please include the following citation on all copies:
Oliver, Bruce. “The Just ASK 2017 Closing of School Checklist” Just for the ASKing! April2017. Reproduced with permission of Just ASK Publications & Professional Development (Just ASK). © 2017 Just ASK. All rights reserved. Available at www.justaskpublications.com.


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