Social distancing has become part of our lives as we are forced to keep our distance to protect ourselves from COVID-19. However, it doesn't need to slow down our focus on building connectivity and community in our schools. Just the opposite, we need to get creative and be intentional in working to lead connectivity and community in our school. The role of the principal has expanded in order to support our students, staff, and faculty in more creative ways to build connectivity and community during this time.
Here are 4 ways Principals can lead connectivity and community during the age of social distancing.
Dial Up - There's nothing like a personal phone call. Be intentional in making personal calls to staff and the homes of students. Our Principal Team has committed to calling one department of teachers each day. I recently called a department and had so many teachers express gratitude for reaching out and checking in with them. A simple call to say hello, how can I support you, and I'm here to help you through this goes a long way in building community.
Zoom Zoom - Our Staffulty (Faculty & Staff) join together for a Staffulty meeting where we review important updates, build community, and enjoy time just being together. One of our teachers even played his guitar and led our Staffulty in a sing along! Seeing one another face to face builds connectivity and community during these days of social distancing. I love how some principals are spicing up the Zoom meetings by hosting hat day, spirit wear, and teachers holding up positive messages for students. We are planning on taking a Staffulty (Faculty & Staff) photo of our staff by using the Zoom Gallery feature.
Creative Videos - I have loved seeing the creativity of principals during this time to inspire hope, community, and connectivity during this time.
Here's an example of a video that I created for our students, staff, and families. We are using a hashtag to bring everyone together and to celebrate the work of our students and staff. I used #AppleClips to create this video, it's easy and free to use. You can find it in the Apple App store.
Principal Book Reads - Principal, Allyson Apsey, works on building connectivity and community by bring her students together around a virtual book read by the principal. She even invited a local legislator to join her in the book read.
Powerful Connections - I love how Robertson Elementary School (Frisco ISD in Texas) Faculty and Staff joined together to drive the bus routes of their students so their students could see them and stay connected. This faculty and staff left an indelible mark on their students by this expression and act of hope, positivity, and community. As educators, we inspire hope and joy in the lives of our students, they count on us to be a beacon of hope and light to their worlds!
Please comment and share what you and your school are doing to build connectivity and community during this time. Also, share out this post on social media by clicking on the three dots at the top right hand corner of the article. Share it out so so we can learn and grow as principals together.
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