Episode 9: O is for Omicron with Libba Mattison

This podcast is being recorded in mid-January of 2022 and disruption from the Omicron variant of COVID 19 is intense. I don’t know that there are any solutions that school leaders can take at the local level, but finding a few minutes to reflect on our experiences, to learn from each other, and to feel more connected with our peers is important. This will be the first of three podcasts released in quick succession. Each podcast will focus on how a different assistant principal is navigating this current moment. I’m not sure if these episodes will shape your practice, but I think they will be cathartic, and right now that seems good enough.

Show Notes, Episode 9: O is for Omicron
About this show:
This podcast is being recorded in mid-January of 2022 and disruption from the Omicron variant of COVID 19 is intense. I don’t know that there are any solutions that school leaders can take at the local level, but finding a few minutes to reflect on our experiences, to learn from each other, and to feel more connected with our peers is important. This will be the first of three podcasts released in quick succession. Each podcast will focus on how a different assistant principal is navigating this current moment. I’m not sure if these episodes will shape your practice, but I think they will be cathartic, and right now that seems good enough.
 
 
Notable Quotes
 
 
Guest
“We have to be mindful about what is in our control, because there are so many things that aren’t. So we have to remain thoughtful. At times, we are under so much pressure and stress. In the heat of the moment, we have to put safety and supervision above all”
 
“There are times where people just simply want to vent. They don’t necessarily come with a problem and they don’t necessarily want to be a part of solving that problem, but sometimes they just want to say “this is how my day is going”. Sometimes they ask for advice, but sometimes we are just there to listen”
 
“How do we draw the line between the positivity and what it means to truly be an educator and called to this profession and then them hearing the negativity and all of the downsides. I can definitely see why it is the way it is as far as young folks wanting or not wanting to go into the profession”
 
“We don’t always need to jump in and say “I can solve your problem”, I think we need to involve them. Say “okay you brought this problem to me, lets solve it together””
 
“I think that despite everything that is going on, teachers are still going in their classrooms and they’re closing their doors, and there is learning happening, regardless of all of the talk about “there’s a huge gap, students aren’t where they’re supposed to be”. That might be true, but we have to meet them where they are.”
 
“Being extremely thoughtful and reflective is key right now because there are areas that I am growing in that I didn’t know that I needed to grow in until this pandemic.”
 
“we do need to hear from each other so that we don’t feel so alone and don’t feel like it is just us and just our school. This is a nationwide pandemic and we are all living this.”
 
Frederick
“I desperately want to believe that even now we can be helping teachers to grow, especially by just being reflective. Be really honest with me. Am I out of my mind?”
 
“We’re not trying to get a teacher from where they were 3 years ago to the next level, we’re recognizing people aren’t there. So it is “where are you today and how can we support you””
 
“The four points you made about supporting teachers are worth repeating: Spending time working side by side and being visible than ever is critical, really listening and not feeling like you have to fix problems, third being human, which is walking that dance of being positive and trying to uplift people, but also being vulnerable and acknowledging where we’re all at, and fourth is really involving teachers in the problem solving when they bring something forward. There is a lot we don’t control right now, but all of us can control those 4 things.” 
 
 
 
 
Links:
The Assistant Principal Podcast website: https://www.frederickbuskey.com/appodcast.html 
Sign up for the daily leadership email: https://mailchi.mp/c15c68e6df32/specialedition 
Blog: www.frederickbuskey.com/blog (reposts of the daily email)
 

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