#Suptchat Recap: Innovation as a Result of the Pandemic
- K-12 Topics
In case you missed last night's #suptchat, the Paper team is here to provide you with a comprehensive recap.
Superintendents Michael Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak facilitated this month's conversation between school leaders about innovation as a result of the pandemic.
Q1: If you could go back to March of 2020, know what you know now, what advice would you give yourself?
The Paper team had a hard time picking our favorite words of advice. Although #suptchat participants can't speak to their past selves, that doesn't mean it's too late to follow their own guidance—these invaluable new learnings can and should be taken into 2021 and beyond.
Buckle Up! You are about to see teachers step up big for kids. They will redesign school to ensure learning continues during this pandemic. Your already strong faith in educators will be affirmed 10 fold. Teachers are heroes. Hold my Sonic Drink and watch this! #suptchat— Jim Ford (@jimhford) March 4, 2021
#suptchat A1 - I would start telling myself in March not to get lost in the trees and to keep the forest in perspective: Keep everyone safe, keep the learning going, keep the morale up, keep our kids first.— Dr. Lisa Leali (she, her, hers) (@LisaLeali) March 4, 2021
A1: Strap in :) It's going to be a long road. Amazed by how little we knew last spring about what this pandemic would mean for us. #suptchat— Dr. Anthony McConnell (@mcconnellaw) March 4, 2021
A1:The advice I would give myself in March 2020 is "Relax, this is not a sprint, it is a marathon. A REALLY LONG marathon. Just take it day by day and focus on the kids". #suptchat— Dr. Bill Chapman (@Dr_Chap_PISD) March 4, 2021
#suptchat A1: I would tell myself to slow down, and to only write in pencil, as re-do's and revisions will be the "new normal" for awhile pic.twitter.com/GVpwV5apKZ— Todd Dugan (@tdugan75) March 4, 2021
A1: If I could talk to my March 2021 self, I would focus on the social & emotional toll of this pandemic. I am proud of what our district has done on this front, but frontloading the idea of a mental marathon ahead would have been a bigger part of my planning. #suptchat— Bob McBride (@PorterSup205) March 4, 2021
Q2: Share a specific challenge your school district or building has overcome this year.
Schools and districts across the nation have had to overcome countless unprecedented challenges over the last year, and we applaud all educational leaders for their inspiring leadership through these uncharted waters.
A2: The biggest challenge our district has overcome is teachers teaching both remote and in person at the same time. They have done a fantastic job!#suptchat— Dr. Bill Chapman (@Dr_Chap_PISD) March 4, 2021
#suptchat A2: One challenge we have overcome at #BHill8 is the ever present digital divide. While this has not been bridged nor closed, we were able to surmount it enough to ensure all students were able to maintain at least a minimal level of connectedness while remote— Todd Dugan (@tdugan75) March 4, 2021
#suptchat A2 - Our administrative team was entirely new this year, only 2 of 8 were in the same position (including Director of Technology). We were able to come together, make a plan, give our community a choice and have kids in our buildings on 9.1. So proud of this team.— Dr. Lisa Leali (she, her, hers) (@LisaLeali) March 4, 2021
A2:I had to overcome the (self-inflicted)expectation that I can answer everyone's questions. I overcame this expectation by being a connector of resources! I might not have the answer or be able to support someone but I know someone who can! Life is about relationships #suptchat— Katie Algrim (@Katie092513) March 4, 2021
Q3: In what ways is innovation and change present in what your faculty and staff are doing right now?
Participants listed all the ways that necessity is breeding creativity in the education world.
Q3 #suptchat The COVID pandemic is forcing all of us to examine what worked, what didn't work, what do we keep and what do we keep trying to refine. This is an opportunity to redefine education and do it more intelligently because we have seen how different delivery methods work.— Ralph Grimm (@ralgri3) March 4, 2021
A3: I see innovation in our staff in zillions of ways educators have adapted. Most notably, our staff has mastered asynchronous learning, become online innovators, and used afternoon tutoring sessions to reach out creatively to struggling students. #suptchat— Bob McBride (@PorterSup205) March 4, 2021
A3: #suptchat Our faculty and staff are changing and innovating every day - new approaches in person (part time 5 days a week) new approaches in virtual/distance learning they also show adaptive agility and change daily - great thinking and collaboration!! HUGE team efforts.— Michael Lubelfeld (@mikelubelfeld) March 4, 2021
A3: We have people doing more and more creative things with technology than they ever have before. It's inspiring to see people go above and beyond their own limits that they never thought was possible. #suptchat— Dan_Cox (@Dan_Cox) March 4, 2021
A3: So many new ways for us to engage our students!! I love hearing the answers to the question we've asked teachers to ask students--"What have you liked about remote learning?" Let's not discard the things students are telling us they love about this. #suptchat— Corey Tafoya (@DrCoreyTafoya) March 4, 2021
Q4: What is one "pandemic change" that you want to see continue after COVID?
If there is a silver lining to all of the recent changes that have been forced upon us, it's that educators have a chance to reimagine education. We have a chance to examine what worked, what didn't, what do we keep, and what to we want to work towards.
A4: We've historically pushed way too much content. The pandemic has forced us to filter that. I truly hope that continues to be a discussion. #suptchat— Joe Sanfelippo (@Joe_Sanfelippo) March 4, 2021
A4: What is one "pandemic change" that you want to see continue after COVID? #suptchat— Michael Lubelfeld (@mikelubelfeld) March 4, 2021
I want to see adaptive change implemented in less time than before the pandemic. We can change - we will change - we will make a new normal! Anytime learning is specific response :)
#suptchat A4 - The option for online parent teacher conferences will stay with us. We saw increased participation across the board as that platform helped us overcome previous barriers our parents were experiencing.— Dr. Lisa Leali (she, her, hers) (@LisaLeali) March 4, 2021
A4: Two things come to mind: 1.) learning cannot remain contained within our school walls and 2.) We must rethink how we assess for learning. #suptchat— Dan_Cox (@Dan_Cox) March 4, 2021
Q5: What has surprised you the most about how everything has gone this year?
Most participants were on the same page for this question, with almost everyone citing the resilience of educators and students among others.
A5: I started a new doctoral program and got a new job...then COVID hit! I am still standing, learning, and growing as a leader and human being! That has been the biggest surprise of them all!! HAHA!! #suptchat pic.twitter.com/a7Lgmv13PP— Mariana Nicasio (@mariana_nicasio) March 4, 2021
A5: The resilency of everyone plus the supportive parents. So grateful to have kids in the school or for what we provide distance. Teachers hopefully will be more respected after. #suptchat— Kristi Jacobs (@kristijacobs16) March 4, 2021
A5: What has surprised me most thus far this school year is how well we have fared with cases & quarantines. When kids returned to school in August, we really had NO IDEA what we would be up against. That and how well our staff has handled the continuous unknowns!#suptchat— Dr. Bill Chapman (@Dr_Chap_PISD) March 4, 2021
A5 how resilient, patient, and flexible students, parents, staff and community has been. How well WE all have adapted at every turn! #grateful #suptchat— Scott Whipple (@whipplescott) March 4, 2021
Q5 #suptchat No surprise at all but I am in awe of the work that educators have done across the state during the pandemic. It truly has been the best work that I have observed in 38 years in this business. The challenges were met head on and the performance exceeded expectations!— Ralph Grimm (@ralgri3) March 4, 2021
Q6: How have you changed your communication strategies this year when working with parents and community members?
This question made it clear that there is nothing that schools and districts won't do to make sure they reach every member of their community.
A6: More email messages, short in content, delivered regularly. Creation of a Return to Learn website. Infographics on interventions used for academic recovery. #suptchat— Jon Bartelt (@jonbartelt) March 4, 2021
A6 started doing small videos to explain schedules 'how to' items! Posted more info on social media. Started monthly principal meetings to get info and feedback from parents #suptchat— Scott Whipple (@whipplescott) March 4, 2021
A6: Over the past year, we have focused on video communications and multi-lingual town halls on Zoom. As confusing as this has been for educational leaders - parents and community members have been craving information and an understanding of what's happening and why. #suptchat— Nick Polyak (@npolyak) March 4, 2021
A6: I was many more videos as a way to communicate. And of course, virtual meetings. While I am tired of virtual meetings, in some instances they are very beneficial and effective. #suptchat— Dan_Cox (@Dan_Cox) March 4, 2021
Q7: How have you worked with your Board of Education to navigate these difficult topics and decisions?
School leaders shared how they're managing this stressful time in collaboration with their Boards.
Q7 #suptchat Dealing with Boards has been challenging for many Superintendents. Be honest; be straightforward; be factual; advocate for safety above all and ultimately, remember who you work "for". Be a good listener. The Board may be wrong, but they are still the Board.— Ralph Grimm (@ralgri3) March 4, 2021
A7: Every month, we have been updating the Board of Education on the local metrics that we are tracking to help make decisions for our school community. In such a confusing time, we all need consistent information. #suptchat— Nick Polyak (@npolyak) March 4, 2021
A7: Creation of a Board Union Committee to regularly meet and share information and reflect on potential actions as we move forward - together. #suptchat— Jon Bartelt (@jonbartelt) March 4, 2021
A7: We worked transparently with our Board and with timely communication. Ultimately, our Board approved a set of tools in August 2020 that we have been able to use across the year when necessary and needed. Board trust, flexibility, & empowerment was a decisive factor. #suptchat— Bob McBride (@PorterSup205) March 4, 2021
#suptchat A7 - Information, information, information. We update at every meeting how we are trying to improve. Our Board is represented on our Task Force and I have regular chats with individuals, as well. We are all listening to our community and responding as often as we can.— Dr. Lisa Leali (she, her, hers) (@LisaLeali) March 4, 2021
Q8: How has resiliency been shown by your students this year?
Though undeniably difficult, the educational environment of the last year has fostered more resilient learners than ever.
A8: They have adapted to every situation so well. Students this year have had to respond to a level of disappointment none of us can relate to and they have done it with grace and dignity. I'm so proud of them! #suptchat— Dan_Cox (@Dan_Cox) March 4, 2021
A8: Students have become primary wage earners in their homes. They have been childcare providers for their siblings. They have helped with sick relatives. All of this is in addition to their school work. As always - kids rise to the occasion and make us proud! #suptchat— Nick Polyak (@npolyak) March 4, 2021
https://t.co/IfCbgLlOMx students and staff have shown humor, compassion, and empathy throughout this adventure. I am so proud of all of the work we are doing!!#SuptChat #Rockschoolstrong— Bonnie Jordan (@BonnieJordan3) March 4, 2021
Finally, some concluding remarks from the moderators:
Thanks to all of our #suptchat friends. It's an honor for @mikelubelfeld and me to get to spend this time with you every month. pic.twitter.com/pXarn0AntC— Nick Polyak (@npolyak) March 4, 2021
Mark you calendars for the next #suptchat on April 7, 2021 pic.twitter.com/9vn2h80vJZ— Michael Lubelfeld (@mikelubelfeld) March 4, 2021
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