Dear Together Friends, Fans, and Family
After an intense few weeks of Together Teaching, I recently took to the woods with my bestie for a four-day backcountry hiking trip through Shenandoah National Park. I learned long ago that the best way for me to clear my head is to experience something completely immersive. I wish I could say that I emerged with some powerful ruminations, but alas, all I could do was literally count to 20 repeatedly in my head to get up the 7000 feet ascent with my 38-pound pack in 95-degree heat. Much wildlife was encountered (see deceased bobcat), and I returned with a newfound appreciation for air-conditioning, flat walking surfaces, and cream in my coffee. I also had the opportunity to create some fun new personal checklists for all things backcountry camping. May I highly recommend this as your luxury item?
While I didn’t have any major revelations (with the exception of an idea for a new writing project!), August does often feel like a month of new beginnings, right? August is the educator’s New Year! School supplies labeled, new sneakers squeaking (or Crocs, in the case of my children), and lots of intentions set for the year ahead. If you haven’t had a moment yet, now is a good time to:
- Consolidate calendar babies. Anyone else getting sent a million different baby calendars right now? Me too! I just took one kid’s baseball schedule, another kid’s dance team dates, and Dr. Together’s travel schedule and got them all in the family Google calendar. Bonus points for me for arranging the carpools now! And bonus points to the dance studio for announcing the recital weekend in May NOW. #togetherpoints
- Look ahead on any annual calendars. With four Together Kids in four different schools and districts, we have to get serious about the big picture of Back-to-School nights, curriculum days, final schedule of half-days and conference days, and other annual events. Boom! In the family calendar, and Dr. Together and I can divide and conquer. And in the case where annual calendars have not been communicated, it never hurts to ask!
- Block out some buffers. See any weeks or months that look especially wild?! Me too. September is a very intense month in the Together-verse, and I found a few hours for breathers and reflection here and there. The Together Team also solidified our annual December Together Tidy Time and Shutdown week, and we were able to have a conversation that helped us align our vacations and task hand-offs!
- Identify any personal rituals or celebrations. The September – December period is a full one for many of us. Between multiple holidays, our wedding anniversary, a family trip to Dr. Together’s native Ireland over Thanksgiving, and wanting to get our annual holiday photo taken, there is a lot of coordination required. Start conversations with your people now about what the festive season looks like for you.
Did you just step over to your Comprehensive Calendar to take a few actions? GOOD. Me too. Let’s keep those calendars as Together as possible with the predictable events – so we have time and space for the unexpected!
We are also just 15 copies away from hitting our pre-order goal for The Together Teammate! Have you ordered your copy yet? Or read our series here, here and here, about The Together Try-its? Want to learn more about the content or chat with me about the book writing process? Here are some ways we can hang out in the next month:
- Sign up for a Together Talk! The Together Teammate (free) Talk is happening August 30. Sign up and let me know your curiosities and questions!
- Meet me at The People’s Bookstore! On August 27, we will be at this educator-founded indie bookstore in Takoma Park, MD. RSVP here to let me know you are coming! There may just be some new merch for you – and we may even raffle off one of those rare Together Yetis!
- Sign up for a Together Teammate online course. We lead these 1-2 times per year, and we have a course rolling in October.
PS About that writing project above, let’s say there were a micro book around transitioning between roles or organizations. . . aka A Together Transition. What should be covered? What questions should we ask? What tools or artifacts should be created? Write me here!
PPS Along the lines of school supplies, here on the Together Team, Ana is loving these, Kendra cannot resist these as “potential in a box,” Lauren is all in on these (love a felt tip!), Heidi loves a huge whiteboard for planning, and I’m back to some (lined) versions of these.
Together Treasure Box
- Getting ready to launch those fall projects? Check out my blog in awe of CodeNation’s use of Asana to put together a big event recently.
- Try These Together Moves! Leading up to the release of my latest book in just a few weeks, I’ve been blogging on the Together Try-Its I identified in the book. Here’s Kendra demonstrating Forecasting Forward Frequently, Heidi showing off her Pause to Plan skills, and Maggie Clearing the Cobwebs for all of us!
- Together Students! And for some solid back-to-school content, check out these ideas for keeping our students Together!
Top Together Tributes
- Back to school is fun, or is it? McSweeney’s tells it like it is. . . This article had me at the “Open this PDF and follow these 17 steps.” Picture Maia downloading the Team Snap app for her son’s baseball team.
- Podcast preview! I’m a huge fan of Toni’s work, and excited to see her recent podcast School Disrupted launched over here. I’m also curious what other podcasts you all love. Let me know here!
- Love a Togetherness Quiz. . . While I usually focus in the business of time (versus stuff), I found these clutter personality types right on the nose. I’m a hard-core Pragmatist. I could use a dose of Sentimental! What are you?