PMP246: Challenges and Solutions Leading Post-Pandemic

During the fall semester, I invited listeners to some virtual meetings to share protocols for re-opening their schools.

We formed a free Re-opening Mastermind and met once a week for six weeks to brainstorm and collaborate.

Just a few days ago, I hosted a meeting to re-connect with some of these same leaders in a virtual reunion. This time principals were invited to share updates on how each principal was wrapping up this historic school year of managing during a pandemic.

Common Challenges

Four school principals joined me on April 28, 2021, for this reunion conversation. They included:

  • Sam Fuller, South Aiken High School, Aiken, South Carolina
  • Eric Hoops, Chanute Elementary School, Chanute, Kansas
  • Kimberly Miles, East Gresham Elementary, Gresham, Oregon
  • Cynthia Winchester, Mary Helen Berlanga Elementary, Corpus Christie, Texas

This school year has included so many challenges. As Principal Sam Fuller shared, “If you don’t feel like you’re drowning, you probably don’t care.” 

Sam’s point was that all leaders have felt overwhelmed: Teachers exhaustion, decision-fatigue, credibility crises, and challenges in teaching and learning — all of these obstacles have been even larger with safety protocols and political pressures.

In addition, principals have often been the last ones to consider self-care or emotional support for their own experiences during this school year.

Solutions to Consider

We also shared ideas on ways school leaders are finding solutions for the challenges ahead. These included:

  • Networking with other administrators
  • Building master schedules to bridge the gaps
  • Identifying priorities for actions steps
  • Re-discovering positive morale boosters

Wherever you are in your semester, you deserve a big congratulations for the innovation, courage, and dedication to providing opportunities to your students.

When you connect with other leaders, you find you share a lot in common and often discover solutions you would not find alone.

Listen to the entire podcast conversation for more feedback and takeaways.

Now It’s Your Turn

What are some lessons you’ve learned from serving your school community during the pandemic? What are some of the challenges you’re facing where collaboration with others may help?

Mastermind OpeningsThroughout the summer, I will have openings for the Principal Matters Mastermind. If you’re interested, check out the application page here, or reach out to me by email at for more information.

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker