“What Change Have You Made as a Result of the Pandemic?” Back in October, we asked school leaders on Facebook, “What's one change for the better you've made, personally or professionally, as a result of the pandemic?” Here are some of the amazing answers we received:
“Focusing on self care and being intentional about setting the example for the staff has been huge. I no longer send emails out after working hours; I schedule to have them sent first thing in the morning so teachers have all day to respond. I’m conscious about when I add to or change items in docs where a time stamp is present. Doing these small things helps our staff to 'turn off work.’”
Suzette Fernandez
Highly Capable & Testing Coordinator, South Kitsap SD
“One change I have made is boundaries. I make sure to check out of ‘work’ when I’m home and focus on family. Intentionally spending quality time with the ones I love and not taking for granted the time we have together.”
Sarah Dinkins
Principal, Lind Elementary, Lind SD
“One change I have made personally and professionally is to work less on the weekends. I still put in long hours during the week and do some weekend work but have done less weekend work so far this year than past years.”
Tyler Rice
Principal, Harrison Middle, Sunnyside SD
“The labor-intensiveness of doing attestations last year, really changed how we interacted with each student and family at the beginning and the end of the day. We have kept that model largely in place with staff that might have been more passive in supervising pre-COVID, really trying to see each student and start their day and often their parent's day well.”
Casey Crawford
Principal, Woodland Elementary, North Thurston PS
“Two changes that we have implemented and sustained relate to our morning announcement and parent pick up system. We used to do daily announcements over the phone every morning. With half-days last year, we went to recorded announcements. We have expanded on this and are LOVING this time every morning. We include fifth-graders in daily announcements, include guest speakers, and use Google Slides to support our youngest learners visually. It has been an awesome change and so much fun! We've also included a section that allows us to share pictures taken at school and pictures that students/families send from home. It's been a great way to get to know kids. Second, our end-of-the-day system used to be rather chaotic with all car riders storming out at the same time. We went to car tags last year that were announced over the intercom. This year, we upped our game and went to a Google sheet and have continued to safely dismiss our students at the end of the day. Proud of the work that went into these changes and the folks who continue to work with the changes!”
Katja Rimmele
Principal, Voyager Elementary, Peninsula SD
“The biggest and best change I have made was while things were slower: I got into a consistent exercise routine. I needed it to control stress, and honestly, to fill time. Now, I have kept it up even through the wild ride of this fall...and it's made all the difference for me! I can tackle the hard stuff much easier with consistent time devoted to ME!”
Barb Casey
Principal, Prospect Point Elementary, Walla Walla PS
“Taking the time to slow down and really appreciate those around me. It being able to be with family was tough. Now when I’m able to, I really try to be in the moment and present!”
Jennifer Benson Norman
Assistant Principal, Lewis & Clark Middle, Yakima PS
“I adopted a dog from my local shelter. It is near impossible to be down in the dumps for very long when faced with her incessantly wagging tail, or need to give me kisses. That, plus the non- negotiable long daily walks in whatever the weather. Add in the way she has brought our family together and she is absolutely the best thing to emerge from our COVID-19 experience.”
Annie Fletcher
Principal, Long Beach Elementary, Ocean Beach SD
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Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 3 – 2021-22