What a Strange Month February Is

Jaime Festa-Daigle Uncategorized

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Everyone feels the thrill of the beginning of the school year.  We know the anticipation of December and the strange drag that happens in April.  Why are there no days off in April? But the real change of school happens in February without anyone noticing.  February is when one year quietly, but quickly becomes the next.

With the advent of February, letters of intent to return begin to show up at schools.  Suddenly new positions pop up as open for next year. There is a buzz as staff considers moving into different positions.  Tension sometimes is present as administrative openings occur. All of this happens while the work of the school is going on.  Suddenly school and district leaders are thinking about this year and next year at the same time.

February marks the time when schools realize their most veteran teachers have decided it is time to retire.  These changes can have a huge cultural impact on our schools.  

February brings the heart of the legislative session and the state budget.  It brings new contracts. It brings decisions about how schools may change for the next year.

For some, it is the beginning of trying to find the right fit for a new or open position.  Suddenly principals are in the middle of evaluating staff, preparing for testing, and interviewing teachers for next year.  February marks the time of year where administrators don’t get much rest.

February brings kindergarten registration for many schools.  Teachers busily make plans to support the next year’s newest students and their families.  February is the final month before testing, added pressure may be creeping in from all over.  

Every once in awhile, there may be little change and February is just another month, but for most, it marks a time when you can clearly see the year you are in coming to a close and see what will happen next August.

February may be the shortest month but can be the month where we see our closest colleagues move on.  It can be a time of great uncertainty for us as adults. It can hold promise and excitement for something different.

No matter what February holds, we all must make sure that we focus on letting our students know they are the most important things we have to look forward to all the way through May.  This can be a challenge as our focus is pulled in so many adult directions.  

Educators, this February take the time to see the good around you through all the many changes that may be quietly happening at your school. 



My name is Jaime Festa-Daigle and I was born here in Arizona. I work as the Director of Personnel and Technology at Lake Havasu Unified School District. I’ve taught everything from ELL to 8th grade English to student council to college level government and economics. I was recognized as the American Civic Educator of the Year in 2012. I am fully focused on ensuring rural students have equal access to educational opportunities as their metropolitan counterparts. My current passion is the development of mentor and induction programs for novice school leaders in rural communities. I am an NBCT, Arizona Master Teacher, and an Arizona Rural Schools Association board member. During the small moments where I am not focused on how to make Lake Havasu Unified School District the best district in AZ, I am usually nerding out on politics, fretting about my children and pugs, or working up a sweat at Cross Fit.

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