Videoconferencing Advice

  • Mind the lighting.  The brightest light in the room should be in front of you. You want to avoid looking dark and shady!
  • Posture!  Set the device at table height, sit straight, and tilt your head slightly forward. If you simply keep a laptop on your lap, it will make you look schlumpy and do weird things to the underside of your chin.
  • Wear headphones.  If you don’t your mic can pick up other callers’ voices, creating a cascade of echoes that will annoy everybody.
  • Learn to love muting.  Mute your device whenever you’re not talking.

(Source: 2020)

Google Arts & Culture:

If you haven’t experienced this app, I encourage you to do so and share with all teachers as the information can supplement any content area and help keep students engaged.

Leadership during Transformational Change:

From Time For Change, Muhammad, A. and Cruz, L (2019)

What skills must a leader possess to positively influence those who are subject to his or her leadership? A need to focus on four essential skills is paramount. “These skills focus on the why, the who and the how of change so that leaders and others in their charge can ultimately do the change, making it a reality.” (p. 5)

Communicate the rationale of the work – The why has been established for us through mandated school closure; we must help others understand the components of the required change.  They must feel like they have the time to become comfortable with the changing environment and culture created by online schooling.  Continue to be open and transparent in all of your communication with teachers and parents.  The reality is that the world of leaders has changed also.  Now when you walk the halls of your schools it is with a different purpose.  Connect with students via chat rooms and websites.  Think about creating a ‘Principals Podcast’ or ‘Time with the Principal’ where students can come together to discuss hot topics that you may facilitate.  Be patient.

Leaders must effectively establish trust – How do you connect with other’s emotions during this time?  ‘Facts and objective evidence alone do not inspire people; people need to connect with their leader on a personal level’, (p.6).  What steps can you take to assure the relationship you currently have with teachers, students and parents will continue to grow?  How do you connect intellectually and support the new culture of your school?  Do you talk to teachers about your practice in these changing times?  How do school leaders work?  How are you able to monitor the pulse of the school?

Leaders continue to build capacity. I believe it goes without saying that we are all learning new things and finding new ways of providing leadership while we help others stay the course. Share articles with teachers regarding the new school climate (I will continue to post these). Celebrate by asking students and teachers to share snapshots of students learning from home or a creative lesson they have implemented. Create a shout-out tab on the school website where these pictures may be posted. Update regularly.

Results of the change in the school culture need to be monitored.  Leaders must continue to assess and meet the needs of the people they lead by talking to teachers regarding their successes and struggles. Contacting students and families to determine the pulse of the school climate may be a way to stay in touch and monitor new processes.

If you have leadership articles or you have implemented a new leadership practice or protocol at your school, please share with me so I can post for others to learn from. Discussing our professional practice will be beneficial for all.

In the works: a SJCSD Leadership blog.  I am learning new things every day!  Thank you for everything you are doing as school leaders to inspire, promote and guide your school communities.


Paula Steele





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