Effective leaders are proactive

I admire how quickly leaders around the world got remote learning up and running.

Now they need to operate with one foot in the present and another foot in the future preparing for what is to come. 

In the mastermind, we prepared for school to be canceled a month before states canceled school for the year. We were ready.

Now we’re thinking about a longer school closure extending past next fall, with school opening in January 2021. 

That might be a worst-case scenario, but isn’t it better to be ready?

Imagine if the American federal government was prepared for COVID-19.

How would this experience have been different if we had an appropriate stockpile of PPE, ventilators, and reagents? Because of a lack of an economical supply chain, tons of food is being thrown out while countless people go hungry. 

If we were better prepared, less lives would have been lost and people would have experienced less suffering overall.

As my mother says, “It’s better safe than sorry.”

Besides remote learning extending until 2021, here are a few other scenarios to think through:

A hybrid model of school. Maybe students come to school on “A” and “B” days in order to honor social distancing. Or maybe schools operate in staggered shifts (although I don’t think we have the human capital to pull this off at scale).

School starts as normal and then school closure in the future. The flu of 1918 came in waves. COVID-19 might as well. What have we learned from this experience to get remote learning up and running and deploy materials to families in an efficient manner?

New school. Will we repurpose convention centers and large buildings so that students have somewhere to be while their parents work. Educators teach remotely and a few adults monitor students spread across a large environment.

School as we know it. It will look the same as in the past, but we have all have experienced the trauma of COVID-19. What support will you have set up for staff and students? How can you celebrate the return to school? That moment you will want to do differently. You have an opportunity to create something remarkable.

What we are experiencing is a crisis too good to waste

Will education have transformed into something better when everyone comes back to school or will it remain the same?

If we just go back to how things were, we missed the opportunity. 

What lessons did you learn this year that you don’t want to forget?

I don’t have the answers, but I do think these are the right questions to ask (and I’m sure I missed a bunch of questions too). 

Q: Well how can we prepare for the unknown? 

A: How did we fly to the moon?

Q: Isn’t this a waste of time?

A: You can adjust whatever plan you come up with based on district and state guidelines as they come out. Everything in life is a draft. The only thing that is final is death. 

Q: When will we plan? My team is already overworked, myself included!

A: Smart schools and districts acknowledge that school is abnormal right now. Is it important to have 5 days of instruction and meetings? Cut that down to 4 or 3-days a week. Use the rest of the time to plan for the future.

Now is the perfect time to apply to the mastermind — a think tank of amazing school leaders from around the world. We want to support you through this time and into the future. 

If you have ever thought, “Am I crazy?” because your dreams and vision for education are so innovative and bold, then we have a community of leaders just like you. 

You’re not crazy. 

You’re a Ruckus Maker making a difference. 

Come meet the others.

Apply to the mastermind below …

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