Strategies to avoid #PrincipalPanic in the pandemic…it’s a thing.

One little month away from the blog and literally everything has changed. What are you doing as a principal right now to help your people stay calm in this pandemic, while also taking care of you? I’m about ready for our structured, regularly stressful, typical work world to return. (Remember when STAAR test stress was the worst stress? Ugh. I miss those days!)

I’ve seen much on the Facebook or the twitters about what we “should” be doing or what “actually” matters right now. I’m just trying to not kick my children and husband out of the house, 🙂

That being said…I have seen some really good ideas come across and wanted to share some of what we’re doing with you…it’s definitely helping me stay sane and feel productive. There’s nothing worse than an unproductive enneagram 3!

Things I am doing for Amber:

  • waking up and working out, just an hour and a half later than usual
  • watching things I don’t usually have time to watch b/c I go to bed at 9pm like a 7th grader
  • walking the dog twice (TWICE!) a day
  • having a “schedule”…even if it’s a made-up in my head schedule that nobody knows about but me
  • eating snacks

Things I am doing for staff:

Taking care of my people is LITERALLY one of my favorite parts of my job, so not being able to get to them has been hard.

  • phone calls. ACTUAL voice calls to check in and say hi. I ask how they ARE, not what they’ve been doing. 
  • Sunday night motivation texts to teams, just an image or a gif
  • Keeping emails brief, supportive, and appreciative
  • Letting go of unreasonable expectations, just being REAL PROUD of a pivot none of us saw coming
  • Respecting that some are parenting, wife-ing/husband-ing, and teaching…all at the same time
  • weekly staff meetings, to see all the faces via google meet–trying to make these short, sweet, and involve something FUN!
  • I’m going to mail, as soon as the OCD fireman allows me to, one of these out to everyone

Things I am doing for lil’Wolves and families:

We are lucky enough to have an engaged community via social media, so I am able to utilize Facebook and know we’re getting exposure. Because I’ve read so much about the different ways Facebook links the algorithms of views and their feed, I know that the more engagement a post has, the more it is going to show up in people’s feeds. That means every time we post something, and we get a comment, the page comments back. This has raised the average view of what we’ve been sharing post-pandemic by 150%. Enlisting some of our professional staff who may not be as busy with our online learning has been a win-win for this strategy. 🙂

  • Coach Kyle, our PE coach, jumping in twice a week with fun workouts for Wolves
  • Read aloud each day at 9 am by a surprise guest reader (Alpha Phonics, ESL, Art…all our people want a turn doing this! Even our lunch lady signed up!)
  • Friday we go live with jokes on Facebook with our assistant principal and myself
  • Our music teacher plays the flute, sings, or has her son play the piano as she announces all the day’s birthdays
  • teachers are making posters/signs for us to share in a video, set to some sappy song I haven’t chosen yet 🙂

Anything that we do live, you could also just record and send links out!

What are you doing to avoid #PrincipalPanic right now?

It’s ok not to know. And if I could convey peace and assuredness to my people right now, then I can turn everything else off, and hopefully, communicate what is most important…which is that we’re going to be ok.

Thinking of you &

Technically, yours Amber Teamann