If you are a school leader, I have some advice for you so you make good decisions at this crucial time in your school’s existence. This is a collection of recommendations for any leader to consider at this time, and are aimed at helping staff, students, and families make it through this time successfully.
First, ask yourself how are you supporting your staff?
Your staff is your school. They make up your day to day, and enable every success and failure you experience. Those are of course, based on your systems in place — so it’s a team result, yet their health leads to your health.
How are you supporting their social and emotional wellness?
How have you helped with their transition from regular teaching days, to virtual instruction, then back to hybrid to do a combo of both, only to go back to virtual for some of us, then back to hybrid again? That question alone — is bananas to reread and realize is accurate.
Are you reaching out enough to them? Have you connected them again in collaborative efforts? Can you create some network of best practice or support or emotional wellness — for your staff?
Have you checked in with back offices? Have you connected with maintenance? Transportation? Foods? HR? Programming? Guidance? See them regularly and do something to make them recognized. Now is the time to make your presence as a leader known by ensuring you brighten the room somehow.
Second, how do you rate your outreach?
What has your recent outreach and efforts to do so, say about your leadership abilities? Do you do it regularly? Do you translate? Do you use multiple means of efforts to reach your families and stakeholders?
Does your website work? Is it updated? Does it reflect what you guys do as a school?
If anyone has questions, is it easy to get answers from your site? How about your offices? When someone calls the school, is the outgoing message current, or is the same person’s voice from years ago, who no longer works there — still the voice on the service?
Third, do you have a pulse of your school?
How are your students performing? How about your subgroups? How about by demographics? Do you know how to use that information once you have it? Do you have a way to gain access to it?
Fourth, what are your plans to transition your school based on the impact from COVID?
If you think you guys did fine, that’s still not where you were prior to COVID, so what now? You will have levels of success that are less than previous years, and subgroups that are not benefiting from the pandemic at all educationally speaking — knowing that, what are you going to do?
What are your plans to address the areas within your school that have been impacted from COVID?
How are you supporting your families?
What is your plan to incorporate social and emotional wellness to students, staff, and families?
Fifth, how can you make your school better after all of this?
What newness can you bring to your programs? What different curriculum ideas can address subgroup needs? What innovative ideas can redefine success in your school? Or what programs that focus on learning and the process of successfully educating students can you find that can address potential concerns?
If you are a leader, take head to this advice — as it is aimed at redirecting your focus and attention right now, so you are leading everyone at a time when true leadership determines successes on so many more levels than ensuring proper education.