I just want to principal (yes, I’m aware I’m using a noun as a verb and I’m okay with it). We’ve been in school in full distance learning for 3 1/2 weeks now, even though lots of my teacher friends just went back for workshops this week. Some things are definitely getting better; students know the routine, are getting better at logging in and completing work independently, and teachers are feeling more comfortable with the tech tools they’re using. And yet, some things still don’t feel great.

I think part of it is that we’re not done planning. Some districts have made the decision to stay in their chosen format for a long period of time. We are planning to switch to a hybrid format in a week and a half. We’ve put a ton of time and energy into planning distance learning, but we don’t get to really enjoy it because we’re right back into planning the next thing.

In the past few weeks, a lot of my time has been taken up with meetings, planning sessions, and schedule building to prepare for the switch. It leaves me with less time for the parts of the job I love, the actual “principal-ing.” I know, I know. Planning and scheduling is principal work, too. But the not so fun parts of our job (like paperwork and difficult conversations) often get balanced out by the better parts of the job (like reading stories to kindergarten classes or seeing kids learning in classrooms). The good stuff makes the less good stuff worth it.

The next few weeks will be a challenge as we put our new plans into place. Fortunately, we have a few days off with the holiday weekend to rest up and recharge. I plan to turn off my computer and take my email off my phone for the weekend. I know I have to take care of myself during this difficult time because I need to keep showing up for my teachers so they can show up for our kids. Isn’t that what principal-ing is all about anyway?

What is challenging you during this difficult school year? And how will you take care of yourself so you can keep making a difference for kids?