10 Things on every Equity Leader’s End of Year Checklist

The year is nearly done.

Graduations, book collection, and classroom deep cleaning. But what about the equity? What should you do at the end of the school year, to make sure the equity officers don’t arrest you?

Seriously, what’s on the checklist of every leader trying to lead for equity? 

My office is a mess, my notebook is full, and I am barely getting through the days. Why do we pack so much into May and June? I know I am ready for a trip overseas and some downtime with my daughter and wife. But, I need to do a few things first. Some of this I like to do solo, others with my admin team, and during a really good year, a few with a team of teachers. Regardless, it’s important to zoom out, look at the big picture and make some assessments. But first, I like to go through these 10 things.

10 Things to put on your Checklist

  1. Clean up your office
    I know they say that geniuses work in chaos, but trust me you get much more done in an organized space. A clean space leads to a clear mind and an even clearer plan of action. Equity demands action. And don’t nobody got time if you don’t have your stuff together. Throwing things always makes me feel freer.
  2. Conduct a self-evaluation
    You are already your harshest critic but it helps to do so with a process that includes celebrations and some sort of a rubric. I start with my school district’s leadership rubric , but I focus on standard vision, outcomes, and distributed leadership. Here’s another great one. Use your self-eval to drive your strategic plan and goals for next year.
  3. Look at your strategic plan or theory of action
    To being, ask yourself: what went well, what did you forget about, what did you bomb? Be honest. Next, you will need to make some decisions about where to place your focus next year, and what needs to continue from this year. If you don’t have a strategic plan, here’s a template. Also, you can revisit those questions that keep you up at night. Side note, there should probably be less on your plan.
  4. Pick one piece of data to celebrate and analyze
    That is a bright spot. It should be something that improves learning outcomes for target students.
    • What made it work?
    • How was involved in making it happen?
    • How was it started, launched, kicked off?
    • What kept the change or initiative going?
    • How do you sustain or scale this accomplishment?
  5. Set an equity goal for next year
    First, pick one piece of data to keep you fighting and attach it to your goals and strategic plan. Next, write down why it matters and how you personally connect to it. Then, align some resources both time, personnel, and budget to it. Lastly, connect it to some team’s work. Make it happen!
  6. Sign up for some summer learning
    Check out these 18 Equity Conferences.
  7. Pick a few summer books to read
    Leaders never stop learning. Don’t stop, won’t stop. Here are my 24 books for anti-racist teachers and leaders.
  8. Set one health goal you can accomplish during the summer
    If your body and mind are right, your work will follow. You have to sustain yourself for the long haul. If you drop the baton, there’s no telling if someone will always pick it up. Your students deserve you at your best!
  9. Plan something fun for your family, partner, or close friends
    Life is communal and love is love. Remember who you really love, and if you don’t got someone, find someone to love. Real talk, your friends and family deserve you. You put so much time into your work and other people’s children. Put some time into them too!
  10. And now, exhale
    You did it. You made it. I know and you know it is not easy, and you pushed through, the hard parts, the resistance, the tears. You did it. Bonus points if you are coming back. That’s a whole nother conversation, but if you aren’t, I hope you are continuing the fight. But for now, exhale.

What else is on your checklist?