4 things to help a school principal get through the pandemic
Despite the distribution of vaccines in record time, the wave of COVID continues to be a boring reality for the third consecutive school year. The ongoing pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis evoking strong and conflicting emotions and disrupting PreK-12 education. A school principal who leads in these demanding and chaotic circumstances faces relentless pressure, limited options and sleepless nights.
Emotional exhaustion and physical fatigue eroded the job satisfaction of principals, as evidenced by 42% of U.S. principals who said they were considering leaving their jobs and 70% said they felt close to their breaking point (NASSP & LPI, 2020). A veteran school principal from Iowa lamented, “I have been a principal for 20 years, and it has been, by far, the most trying year for me professionally, emotionally and physically. I would have to change things in all three categories in order to survive another year in a pandemic. “
School leaders have taken on the heavy responsibility of adhering to pandemic responses, processes, procedures and protocols, many of which have changed overnight. The leadership of the school principal has been essential in guiding school teams while avoiding burnout. To find out more, we conducted a survey, which was completed by over 350 directors in Iowa, which found that leaders who not only thrive in uncertainty but maintain positive job satisfaction demonstrate four traits. essential leadership: goal-oriented, self-care, self-awareness, and self-efficacy.
To withstand adversity, leaders must stick firmly to their WHY. Effective school leaders are on the ground because of their genuine concern for students and their belief that education is a lever for a better future. To quote a school principal from our survey: “Remember why you practice this profession… to serve students and watch them grow and flourish in good times and bad… to make a positive difference and have a impact on the lives of those we serve on a daily basis. “
School leaders are encouraged to visit classrooms, interact with students and play alongside young learners. These brief moments with students can be meaningful reminders to leaders as to why they got into education in the first place. Managers should “Keep an eye on the prize… Learning / growth opportunities exist in any issue or challenge presented. Disruptions in the school year may force school leaders to find new ways to measure progress against traditional attendance monitoring practices and standardized assessment results.