In my position, I tend to work harder and longer in the summer than I do during the school year. One of the ideals I have followed in regards to technology is “Do nothing that disrupts the work day.”. If I were working for a business that would mean I do a lot of works on evenings and weekends, but since I work for a school district I have Christmas and Spring Break, plus 2 1/2 months of summer where the majority of my users are no where near the network. So what are some of the things we do during the summer months.
Well first and foremost is take care of the equipment. With my upcoming move, I purposely did not bring in anything not absolutely needed this year. So that means I will have about 275 desktop computers, and 15 new video displays coming into the district. We also have 1500 laptop computers for students. The laptops are examined for damage, missing pieces, etc… The desktops get taken down to a storage area waiting for disposal.
There is a certain ebb and flow to the summer work. June is usually pretty light. We are able to get through the computers, but with summer school going on, all the updating of servers and other software takes place in the afternoons. July starts to get more hectic with equipment. The orders are all staged to start arriving after 1 July. This way we do not run into any problems with the state auditors. Then the equipment gets unboxed and staged for for setting in the classrooms. Once the new image is completed, all the computers get put in place, and imaged.
Then August comes. I have learned to really dislike the month of August. The teachers start coming into their classrooms the first week of August. Sometimes they get a little upset, when things are not 100% ready to go. This usually happens due to the summer cleaning. We had everything set up in the classroom, the maintenance team comes in to clean, and things get plugged back incorrectly. Or my personal favorite, is a teacher comes in and re arranges their classroom.; moving the technology, and is then surprised when things don’t work. The end of August is the busiest time of the year. Parents, who have moved into the district over the summer, all of a sudden remember that school is starting, so we get hit with a lot of new accounts. We require parent meetings before we give a student a take home computer, so we try and do all these in August as well. Then the last two weeks of August teachers report back for orientation and training.
This year some of the head aches will be compounded by training my replacement. I figure it will take at least three times as long for every task. Most of the summer work is now muscle memory, but I will have to remember to go slower, and explain every step, so that my replacement is ready to go next year when he is on his own.