The Assistant Principal Podcast

Today’s guest is Emily Parks, the Assistant Principal at Ford Elementary School in Laurens, South Carolina. This podcast is being recorded in late-January of 2022 and disruption from the Omicron variant of COVID 19 is still 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 is the second of three podcasts released in quick succession. Each one focuses 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

Show Notes, Episode X: Title
 
Today’s guest is Emily Parks, the Assistant Principal at Ford Elementary School in Laurens, South Carolina. This podcast is being recorded in late-January of 2022 and disruption from the Omicron variant of COVID 19 is still 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 is the second of three podcasts released in quick succession. Each one focuses 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
 
 
Emily Parks
 
Our staff are resilient, I think teachers in general are resilient, and we monitor, and we adjust, we’re flexible and we just keep forging on
 
Teachers are notorious for feeling bad about being absent or not wanting to stay home when they’re sick and that’s had to be a shift in our own mindsets that “you cannot be here, you have to go home, and no apology is needed”
 
I think we just need to shift the way we grow teachers. It may not be a 3-day conference in myrtle beach or 2 days in a workshop somewhere. I think we just have to be creative in the way we grow our teachers and I think 5-minute coaching is perfect.
 
Change, a lot of time, forces growth
 
There has been organic growth, that we have had to grow to adapt to the changing times we are in right now
 
Meeting in small groups allows us to have more intimate conversations but also focus on each one of their needs to support them better
 
Big change comes from small steps
 
With the way things have been and the obstacles we have faced, and the new situations that are coming about, I feel like I have to continue to grow. Like I said earlier, it may look a little different at this day in time.
 
It is tough sometimes to focus on myself when there are so many other people in the building that need me, so it has just been being more intentional of focusing on my role and what I am doing.
 
I tell teachers “you don’t have to do all the things, let me help you” and then i turn around and don’t follow my own advice, so I am working on relying on and depending on some other people around me. I’ve got a great team and I am only as strong as the people around me.
 
Plans really don’t matter sometimes when you’re battling a pandemic, so my takeaway from what has happened recently is plan for today. Tomorrow will come and it will have its own challenges
 
What has really helped me is being able to connect with other principles and assistant principles
 
 
Frederick
 
We need to meet people where they are now, not where they were 18 months ago, or before covid.
 
I think now more than ever, it really comes down to that reflection because you don’t have those big hour long chunks of time, that if you can take 5 minutes in the morning… that is your time to reflect and right now that is the vehicle for growth
 
 
 
Links:
My email: frederick@frederickbuskey.com 
The Assistant Principal Podcast website: https://www.frederickbuskey.com/appodcast.html 
Sign up for the daily leadership email: https://mailchi.mp/c15c68e6df32/specialedition 
Website: www.frederickbuskey.com
Blog: www.frederickbuskey.com/blog (reposts of the daily email)
 

What is The Assistant Principal Podcast?

A bi-weekly podcast to improve the quality of life and leadership for assistant principals.