The average Director of Activities (also know as Student Council Advisors) lasts for 3.5-years.
Let’s take a moment to think about the significant implications this statistic offers in terms of building school culture.
Honestly, if every 3.5-years a school is hiring a new Director of Activities how can it possibly create a school culture that “nobody ever wants to leave”?
The answer is: IT CAN’T!
If we want to build great schools with amazing culture we have to overcome this current trend and break the 3.5-year cycle. Director of Activities have to be a solid fixture on every school campus and a person that lays the foundation for school culture to be built upon.
3 Reasons Why Directors of Activities Quit
LACK OF ENERGY
Directors of Activities simply get burnt-out. They wear so many different hats and have so many things happening that they eventually run out of energy.
LACK OF COMMITTMENT
Directors of Activities have a HUGE heart for students and developing leaders. Their heart for students is the very thing that draws them to the position in the first place. However, one of the most frustrating issues with being for an Activities Director is having student leaders start off so strong and promising at the beginning of the year and then after a few short months they fade into obscurity. Thus leaving the Activities Director with a small army of students that end up doing EVERYTHING!
LACK OF SUPPORT
Directors of Activities will eventually leave because of a lack of support from staff and administration. Often times when Activities Directors are not supported by their staff and administration they will go looking for “greener grass”. Without support from these groups of people, it’s nearly impossible to be a successful Activities Director.
3 Ways to Break this Trend
It is my belief that Activities Directors need to know the PURPOSE for why the do what they do! Our purpose has to be something that is bigger than us. It has to be something that is greater than self. For me purpose = energy! I am energized by the fact that I am chasing after something much greater than myself. And therefore, I tap into a different source of energy.
Often times our student leaders begin to fade as the year moves along simply because we have them doing “tasks” and not plugging into their PASSION. In order for student leaders to stay committed we need to provide them with opportunities to follow their passion. I believe a huge part of this is the time we spend actually developing student leaders. For years I focused all of my time and energy on creating amazing events! Now, I spend my time developing student leaders and helping them follow their passion. My thought is that if I develop strong student leaders who are engaged in activities they are passionate about, then the by-product will be amazing activities!
As humans we have a tendency to make things about ourselves. Once I realized that leadership starts with me, BUT IT’S NOT ABOUT ME, everything began to change in my career. Leadership is the process of moving yourself to the shadows and putting others in the spotlight. We need to make leadership about others. At the end of the day leadership is about PEOPLE, PEOPLE, and PEOPLE!
I hope together we can break this trend of the shortened lifespan of an Activities Directors and Student Council Advisors. My hope is that we can build better schools and culture by investing in and supporting Directors of Activities so that they can help reach out and impact lives each and everyday!
Activities Director, TEEN TRUTH