Education Leaders and School Principals Learn Lessons from COVID-19

William Woods EDU

online teaching lesson during covidEducating and protecting the well-being of students have always been priorities for school leaders. Now, principals and administrators must provide stability and learning opportunities for staff and students facing the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools are adapting to newly adopted protocols and changes in education delivery. Teachers are accommodating students in both online and in-person learning formats. Some teachers equipped their own homes with the materials necessary to adequately teach remotely.

Educators are also addressing the emotional needs of students and fellow staff who feel distraught and anxious, or those who may be dealing with the health, social, or financial effects of the pandemic.

Coping with a Crisis

Aiding students and their families during these precarious times is critical. Parents and caretakers are facing pressure from the added responsibility of keeping their children engaged in schoolwork while balancing other commitments. Families and educators are working together to develop solutions for the problems that come from lockdowns and disruptions.

Additionally, the current crisis has put a strain on school resources. In many cases, public health agencies, district officials, and community leaders have provided guidance and support through messaging and products. The challenges vary by region and district, but concerns remain all over.

School systems that lack the digital infrastructure, proficiency, and resources to implement online learning risk having students fall behind. They have turned to methods including physically handing out course materials and phone calls to connect with students and be able to meet their instructional needs.

Foundations have typically served a role in narrowing the digital divide. Several private foundations have provided funds to expand technology and innovation at K-12 schools. Funding also supports teachers and administrators in their efforts to advance student learning. These foundations are now responding to situations brought on by COVID-19, in particular, the school closures and the shift to online learning.

Shifts in Direction

School officials must remain flexible, as changes that require an immediate response can happen at any time.

Closures put teachers in the position of having to quickly adapt their lessons for a virtual classroom. Those who did not have the digital skills before needed to learn new techno-pedagogies to teach online classes.

The school-year planning process for many districts also took on a different shape. Educators provided information needed for the refinement of district reopening plans and intermittent closures by sharing their knowledge of student behavior and the conditions necessary for effective learning and safety. The guidance by principals and administrators can reduce the stress teachers and students are feeling about the pandemic and instructional changes.

Education Leadership Opportunities

Effective leaders are needed to help schools navigate today’s situation and the future of education.

William Woods University’s graduate Education degree programs offer teachers and administrators the skills necessary to deal effectively with complex issues in education. The programs meet educational leaders’ professional needs and long-term career goals.

Coursework emphasizes the ability to formulate effective educational practice involving school administration, school management, curriculum development, and supervision as they relate to the Missouri School Leader’s Standards and the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards.

The curriculum for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership degree emphasizes current research, educational trends, knowledge assessment, legal frameworks, and cultural issues.

For more details about this program, visit https://www.williamwoods.edu/academics/graduate/education_graduate/master_of_education_in_educational_leadership.html

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