From orientations to open houses to homecomings, I know it has been a busy fall for advisers from around the country. Your role requires that you are always moving full steam ahead throughout the year and working closely with your council and chapter members.

As we head into 2016, I’m reminded of my time as an adviser. I always viewed the beginning of a new year as a time for reflection for both myself and for my students. I would ask them a series of questions, which they would answer and then seal in an envelope. I collected the envelopes and put them away until the last week of school, when we would open and read them. The questions included:

  1. Are you pleased with your participation in the meetings and activities of the council/chapter?

  2. What grade would you give yourself for the first half of the school year?

  3. What will you do to improve your commitment to the chapter/council?

  4. In what areas do you think our council/chapter needs to improve?

  5. What do you believe is our greatest accomplishment so far this year?

I also asked students to write down three goals for the remainder of the year: a personal goal, an academic goal, and a chapter or council goal that they would initiate. This exercise is a great way to begin the new year, and it allows your student leaders to evaluate their participation and make plans for improvement.

I wish you all the very best in 2016!

Ann Postlewaite
Director of Student Programs
National Association of Secondary School Principals