—By Miriam Magner Flynn
As School Leader, what should you be asking yourself? How do you plan for the re-opening of your school in September?
Three months? Six months? Maybe even eighteen months? Most data suggests that COVID-19 will be with us for much longer than any of us would like, with the possibility of a resurgence over the next 18 months.
As a School Leader navigating this changed landscape, you may consider putting off important decisions. However, even though the timing is not optimal, it is as critical as ever to be decisive and to take the time, along with your School Leadership team, to do some brainstorming and scenario planning to enable you to make the best possible decisions.
Be proactive rather than reactive
In times of rapid change and crisis, planning may be viewed as a ‘luxury’ that is difficult to justify. Yet, as Leaders, we must continually adapt to changes we cannot foresee. A robust School Plan – one that considers multiple possible future scenarios – can provide innovative ideas, discussions, and a road map for dealing with all the circumstances the pandemic may present. Planning will enable your School to function from a proactive place rather than a reactive one.
Coaching Service for School Principals
The time to plan is now. Principals are challenged to manage the new reality of remote teaching and the challenges it presents. The Department of Education & Skills offers an external confidential Coaching Service for School Principals which is managed by the Centre for School Leadership.
This service is fully funded by the Department and is available at no cost to you. Many Principals are already availing of this service to help them navigate through change and prepare contingency plans to be well-positioned to deliver high-quality remote teaching and learning in their schools. This coaching is delivered face to face via zoom.
Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought
“Stand like a mountain and flow like the water” is the guidance from The Art of War. It is as true today as it was when first spoken by Sun Tzu more than two millennia ago. It is what great Generals do – adapt and weather change in turbulent times.
Now is the time to reconfigure your School Plan to take account of new circumstances and challenges. As Sun Tzu reminds us, every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.
A Principal’s view
“The last few weeks have been challenging in coping with uncertainty and seeing models for education delivery being rewritten. My Coach called to support and check in with me and it prompted me to arrange my next coaching session via Zoom, a technology I was not familiar with at the time.
“I valued the contact and felt supported, someone was looking out for me for a change. My Coach reinforced my Leadership ability and my key strengths in handling a crisis, while also supporting my wellbeing. I find the coaching invaluable especially now during the pandemic,” said one Principal.
CDT (CoachDevelopTransform) is a dedicated division of Career Decisions, an award-winning Coaching Company appointed by the Department of Education & Skills to provide Coaching to School Principals. As part of this initiative CDT Coaches have coached over 400 School Leaders with tremendous success.
If you would like to avail of the nationwide Principal Coaching service simply call us:
or email [email protected]
CDT’s individual Coaching is entirely confidential and is customised to your needs.