We have made it to March and the smell of spring is just starting to hit the air and melt the winter away. NCAA College Basketball Playoffs excitedly start this week what has widely been named March Madness, the frenetic, crazy, fun, and exciting culmination of the college basketball season. In schools across the country, March Madness has a whole different meaning.
The Madness that March brings to schools is quite tangible and is created by a number of factors. Here are just a few of the many realities that schools face during March:
- State and federal standardized tests
- teacher and administrator evaluations
- school report cards
- budget proposals for next fiscal year
- student scheduling
- AP testing
- end of year band/choir/drama performances
- next level orientations (5th and 8th graders)
- award ceremonies
- Spring Sports
- interviewing and hiring
- building master schedules
- student anticipation of the pending summer
Added to that ever-growing to-do list this time of the year is the pressures that the results of these tasks will bring. Politicians at the local, state, and federal levels licking their chops at the idea of cutting this or axing this due to dips in numbers. Families eagerly sifting through the data to find the best possible schools to send their students. Employees worrying about whether they will have a job the following year and, if they do, what that job will look like.
It is very important at this very busy time of the year to step back from the pressures and the to-dos and reflect on the primary purpose of all of this stress. While everyone from the parent, to the teacher, to the administrator is stressed to the point of breaking this time of the year it is important to remember that the reason that we are all in this is for the students. Regardless of what any politician says, or what the results of a standardized test show, what educators do now needs to be with students as the focal point. It is far too easy for people to lose that focus of this simple point in the face of all the stress agents at this time of year.
To all of the educators out there from administrators, to teachers, to coaches, to parents keep persevering and doing what is best for kids. Put aside all of the pressures, checking them off one at a time, and all the while keep your eyes on the prize that is our kids. Take in the Madness and make it marvelous.