Break on through...
As the Doors sang, "Break on through to the other side" is probably where most Principals are sitting in their thoughts about Covid. I thought it would be a good time to let you all know what I am seeing out there in schools through this Covid Wave.
Generally, the Principals have been taking a pragmatic approach by dealing with things as they need to happen. Many have been caught out by sending information out just to have it changed the next day after another Ministry Briefing. Some report a lack of surety from the Ministry when they press for what they can and can’t do. It seems many Ministry Advisors are struggling to keep up with the changes themselves.
The schools that are coping well generally have the following attributes:
They keep parents informed when there is a need and do this as simply as possible to avoid confusing them. (A good rule of thumb is if your teachers don’t understand it the parents definitely won’t!)
They try and continue with as normal a programme as possible. Sticking to routines really helps students and teachers normalise and feel psychologically safe.
Many have commented that keeping some PD in action has meant that teachers get the chance to concentrate on their teaching and not solely “Coping with Covid”. Its a balance between not overwhelming them but also keeping their eye on the prize ie “What’s best for our students.”
Many classes have had to combine as teachers get Covid and class attendance dwindles. The hope here is that the teachers coming back will keep a core staff operating until the worst is over. Hybrid lesson plans are mostly up and running already so if classes have to close they can move to online learning.
They keep sports going as much as possible. This includes camps, unless there is an inability to staff it or there are too many students away.
A major concern for schools has been the lack of relievers. (Like staff, relievers are starting to get Covid as well.)
At the end of the day don’t sweat the small stuff and cope with it as calmly and as normally as possible.
Just a reminder there are two great Principal Jobs out there at the moment. Both would suit staff looking at their first Principal’s position. If you could let people know it would be greatly appreciated.