Relationships between school leaders, teachers, students, and the community are critical to post-COVID learning

The aftermath of COVID–and the way forward


Relationships between school leaders, teachers, students, and the community are critical to post-COVID learning

This school year began with enthusiasm for educators and students who were able to return to in-person learning after 18 months of remote instruction. Even with masks and other health protocols, educators and students were happy to be back on campus. We have all learned so much during these COVID years—resilience, creativity, determination, emotional well being and the value of teachers.

However, recent months saw school closings begin again because of new virus variants sweeping the country. The plans that administrators and teachers had carefully made were revised again due to changing circumstances. So, where are we now? Schools are still being significantly impacted by absences of teachers and staff due to the virus. This is the most pressing issue for leaders. There are simply not enough people on onsite to teach, engage, or help students reconnect socially and emotionally. The pressure on staff is just tremendous as leaders try to stabilize their teams to provide uninterrupted instruction and services.

From the classroom to the lunch room to the bus drivers and beyond, schools all over the country are facing a shortage of skilled staff to teach students, provide related services, transport children with IEPs, and serve meals. The pressure on leaders is enormous, particularly as they continue to navigate change and attempt to stabilize their campus. The recovery period from several years of disrupted learning will be significant. It will take longer than a single school year.

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