Association of Washington School Principals
Volume 2 – 2020-21
“... one thing ...” In October, we asked members on Facebook, “What’s one thing you wish people (teachers, community, legislators) knew about your reality being a principal?” Here are some of the great responses we received:
Before I'm a principal, I'm a mom. I know the frustration and worry and confusion caused by the online learning model. I'm concerned about impact as well. I wish we would stop using language like ‘falling behind’ and ‘catching up’ to talk about how and what our kids are able to learn, academically. The world came to a full stop, collectively. There’s no ‘behind’ because we all stopped at once. The opportunity gaps that we’re all seeing now existed prior to the shutdown and need to be addressed, but adding the fear and shame of our kids being permanently damaged as a result is not helpful in our ability to move forward. My hope is that my own kids, and my students, come out of this believing they can learn, knowing that we support them, and that they come back when our doors re-open. Our narrative needs to support that end, otherwise we very well might lose too many students.”
Kelli Bowden Miller
Principal, Heritage High, Marysville SD
“We all care about students and families, and doing what's best for them, but during crisis schooling more than any other time, everyone has different needs and different opinions about what is best. We are being pulled in many different directions, but trying hard to keep safety and student wellbeing as our primary guide. We do want students back in person AND we want to bring them back safely. We don't like 100% remote learning either, but teachers and admin are working so hard!”
Lori Pierce
Assistant Principal, Helen Keller Elementary, Lake Washington SD
“The job of principals and assistant principals is so lonely right now. Working from home in isolation is tough. And while Teams meetings provide some face-time, I find I appreciate even more every moment I'm in virtual classrooms, seeing the great strategies our teachers are using to engage students in their learning. And having the opportunity to see the students' faces, hear their voices. It gives me a boost of dopamine and a little normalcy in an otherwise abnormal year.”
Julie Lynch-Allen
Assistant Principal, Cedar Heights Middle, Kent SD
“To be very real and get to the point, I do not like this. I do not know of any educator that does. It is an interesting challenge of my leadership skills, but I miss our students. As community members, we are all in this together and online learning is not comparable to in-person learning. However, it is our current reality, we must keep the health of our community at the forefront of decision-making, and we need to fully commit to making this the most positive situation possible. We all want what is best for our students. Daily, we are wrestling with how to create academic rigor while trying to understand and support the social and emotional needs of our students. Striking that balance is where much of my current effort is going. How do we keep students engaged? How do we support the non-academic needs of our students and families? How do we best plan to return to in-school teaching and learning in the future? This is new to educators and families. We must remember that we do not have all the answers and we must optimistically work together to be sure we are supporting our students to the best of our abilities. Teamwork – Together We Triumph!”
Guy Kovacs
Principal, Kalles Jr. High, Puyallup SD
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Association of Washington School Principals
Washington Principal | Volume 2 – 2020-21