School leaders are empowered by the agency to potentially manage a school and its resources. They confidently set goals and visionary on attaining them. Inevitably, major change happened due to pandemic. It was March 14, 2020 when the first national lock down was implemented. It was not gradual change but a sudden change in the workplace. Chaotic situation aroused. That time, school year 2019-2020 was about to close. A lot of questions in our minds existed. COVID-19 had a great impact from the start, unexpectedly, a totally different challenging situation. As I remember, higher officials in the Division Office intensified communication with us. A radical change of procedure and processes was overwhelming that led to the utilization of online platforms.
They started empowering us again from the difficulties at hand brought about by the outbreak. We frequently attended several webinars simultaneously and were trained to be adept to technology. Health protocols were highly emphasized and strictly implemented in all school activities. The first time that we practiced working from home and holding faculty meetings virtually. We were made to design our Contingency Learning Plan. NEAP provided us tools to help us decide for our Learning Delivery Modalities. We modified our requests from AIP and APP. We revisited our SIP. It was a distinctive set up.
With the complexity of things around, school leaders remained calm, reliable, decisive and possessed strong personality in dealing with this major change. We acted as model in taking control of the situation since most people were affected emotionally and psychologically. We acted on it as fast and as efficient in helping them to accept the new reality and cope in this new challenging situation. We were developed professionally in motivating and inspiring people in our workplace.
During this outbreak, Division of Iloilo City emphasized that school performance should not be affected. Stress caused by the situation should be managed well by school leaders through empowering the members of the skeletal force. This was the functional working group of active people composed of department heads and master teachers. We collaborated and cohesively worked closely. We created environment where everyone felt involved and a part of the cohesive whole. We were observant to teachers’ reactions, especially to those who were vulnerable and sensitive. We provided support to teachers’ development that made them engaged willingly to their work.
Continual and effective communication with teachers was very essential. They relied so much from us for updates, information, instructions and guidance from this ordeal. School leaders proved that they were fully in charge, assuring teachers of their perception that was moving towards the right direction. With this, we gained trust and build enthusiasm for them to respond positively. Made them feel as the best contributor for action planning. Discussed among with them of their suggestions and inputs for reassessment and adaptation of plans. Through these, we were generating the highest level of performance in giving quality service to stakeholders.
We are now moving forward, more focused, collaborating with other school leaders, sharing and adapting best practices. We created open-mindedness to reality; have the clearer overview of the situation; and have provided support for learning opportunities to teachers to be more inspired and motivated. Indeed, teachers become skillful, well-equipped, trained, agile, goal and result-oriented for an ultimate result to students’ quality education.