Reassuring, Refocusing, Resetting
Well, we are just about a month on from cyclone Gabrielle and I have visited a number of schools and seen first-hand the impacts both minor and major. What has been readily apparent in the schools hardest hit is the resilience of the leaders and their teams in these schools. This is not just Hawke's Bay Principals, school leaders around NZ have managed Covid, floods, earthquakes and terror attacks. This year we thought we were safe having emerged from the cloud of covid. How wrong we were!
So how do we continue to move forward and make the most of a disrupted term?
Here are three concepts that may help:
Reassuring- One thing that the last few years have taught Principals is that teachers respond differently to stress and have different fracture points. One teacher that has lost everything may be upbeat and buoyant whilst another may have had no direct effect and be quite impacted emotionally. All principals can do is reassure staff that they will move through this together and the best way to do this is to just get on with it! Holding off on things like assessments just pushes problems further forward causing future issues.
Refocussing- Leadership teams have been coming together and looking at how they can best move forward with as little compromise to the day-to-day programme as possible.
Shortening the assessment schedules to the absolute must-haves.
Keeping camps running but perhaps shortening them.
Contacting providers to ensure the reset starts as soon as possible.
3. Resetting- Bringing staff back up to date with the annual goals and ensuring they have a focus on their own professional growth cycle development. Many schools have gone softly-softly in the last couple of years in terms of PGC's due to Covid and there comes a time when staff need to reengage with their own professional growth.
By reassuring, refocussing and resetting Principals are setting clear directions for the remainder of the year and clear is kind! Have a great reminder of Term 1 it has been a pleasure working and supporting, where possible, a wonderful group of professional leaders.