Principal Fellow, John Corey, III (Class 25) has learned a “few salient and unexpected things while serving as an administrative intern during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First and foremost, people are people and they have to prioritize what’s urgent in their lives — this includes administrators, teachers, parents, students. I learned I should be prepared to be not just an administrator of policy, rules, expectations, learning, structure but also an administrator of GRACE. During this pandemic, there has been a lot more uncertainty than before and instead of passing out blame or judging, I should think and believe the best about people, not the worst.
Secondly, being a leader is about serving and thinking about each tiny detail that goes into a decision and how it will affect all of your students and families. For example, as a school we had to think quickly about the best way to support local medical community with teachers’ unused hand sanitizer and PPE (stored in their rooms). Days after this I was needed to serve teachers who needed access to buildings to get materials from home and figure out how to collect all Chromebooks in the school so they could be distributed. Then we had to contact families to see who was in need, devise an orderly distribution system that minimized exposure for parents picking up the devices and staff assisting with distributing the devices. For each of these decisions quick, decisive action that was meticulously thought out was taken. The admin team spent time behind the scenes on virtual calls, emails, and text messages to accomplish necessary tasks and assignments. In the end, we saw satisfied parents picking up devices, thankful medical community workers with PPE gear, and grateful Food Bank workers who helped us unload food donations. It was a great effort. I’m still certain that this is the right career and trajectory for me and I’m excited to have had the opportunity to learn Crisis Leadership!