An “Abbey Road” Moment: Ending the School Year with a Strong Finish

“I think before the Abbey Road sessions it was like we should put down the boxing gloves and try and just get it together and really make a very special album.”- Paul McCartney

Every Monday for Middle Schools in our district is unofficially designated as “Sacred Mondays.” This is where we may have a Faculty Meeting, School Improvement Team Meeting or Staff Development Meeting. One may notice a recurring trend with “meeting” as a regular occurrence during these Mondays. I am driven to stand even more positive in a very overt way at these meetings. There is a Monday Malaise that permeates the atmosphere and I totally get it. For some educators and other professionals, negativity is the prevailing mindset. Recently, I have embraced the mindset of Monday being a celebration. I was inspired by School Culture Rewired by Todd Whitaker and Steve Gruenert and how the very notion of Celebrating Mondays can shift a culture. (That’s a Blog Post for another time.)

Yesterday’s Monday Afterschool Meeting was devoted to a Staff Development Meeting on Verbal De-Escalation. Prior to each meeting, I have the best of intentions to model, connect and facilitate the perfect meeting. This particular meeting was the Monday after our Spring Break. I noticed a few understandable blank stares and fatigued gazes. It had been a long day for everyone.

Sometimes as a leader one must dig deeply to the core of the situation. This is not always easy. As I was going through updates and shoutouts, I was internally tapping the beat of Ringo Starr’s drum solo on “The End” off the “Abbey Road” album. I was thinking about a reflection on strong finishes that I had written in the Wiley Weekly Blog.

“Abbey Road” was the final studio album by The Beatles. The album was recorded during a time when the band was coming to terms of their collective demise. I won’t digress into Beatle History. Simply stated, the band put aside their respective personal differences and recorded what many consider to be the greatest musical work of their career. It’s worth listening to sometime. An album full of classics such as “Come Together,” “Something,” and “Here Comes the Sun” stands the test of time. With the pure pop symphonic majesty of the Side 2 Medley, it is astounding to think that four individuals could craft such amazing music.

In short, “Abbey Road” was a strong finish for The Beatles.

Back to that faculty meeting…

I decided to go off script a little bit and share with our faculty the story behind “Abbey Road”  and how it’s important to have a strong finish for the school year. I believe that it’s important for us to support each other to greater heights in our noble profession. Too often, we default to limitations. Our kids and colleagues deserve an uplifting conclusion to a hard-fought year of planning lessons, building relationships, late night grading sessions and meeting every deadline known to humanity. We must lock arms and make great things happen in our respective schoolhouses.

What is your “Abbey Road” strong finish going to be for the school year?

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