When I stepped into the role of school principal at Momentous Institute, I imagined a lot of ways I’d spend my time supporting the teaching, learning and growth throughout the building. I expected to respond to lots of situations, but a global pandemic and school closures were not on the list. However, here we are and now is the most important time to set the tone and vision for how we respond and how we move forward. Here are three things that are most on my mind:
1. Remember to breathe
This situation is evolving by the minute. It’s ok not to have a fully developed plan. No one does and no one expects you to immediately. Be patient with this process and focus on what matters most first. First priority is that we ensure families have access to critical services like food and information regarding the prevention of the spread of this disease. . Figure out how to distribute information to families in multiple ways, and answer what and how often you plan to communicate.
2. Keep expectations reasonable and flexible
When it comes to teachers and families, some are at home with ample time and space, eager to put their creativity and ideas into action. Others have loved ones they are responsible for and are dedicating their time to caring for their families. When we dive into our at-home learning plans, they will be created on an individual basis based on capacity and time. We want to provide a healthy level of engagement and create a slice of normalcy and purpose, not amplified stress.
3. Embrace the creative
There is a part of me that is optimistic and excited to see how we will tap into the creative power of our teachers and families, utilizing our many skills to create meaningful experiences for students. There are so many ways for students to learn beyond the classroom. Our homes and neighborhoods are filled with lessons. We are going to find ways to bring literacy and mathematics to our every day in ways we wouldn’t have imagined without this experience. These include staying physically active, bringing art and music to our everyday lives and engaging together as we practice social distancing. Even though we aren’t in the room together, we will continue to grow together. This has always and will always be about the children. They need us now more than ever.