Without students in the building, administrative team adapts to new work environment


Allegra Coleman

The main office, now mostly empty due to remote learning. The office now has clear plexi-glass dividers.

By Allegra Coleman, News Editor

With this school year being fully remote, many students had to adapt to new and very different ways of learning virtually. The administration team also had to adapt to a brand new work setting virtually.

Most of the administration team works closely with students on a daily basis, but without students actually being in the building it has been difficult for administration to monitor students. This has created a new kind of stress and a lonely working environment, according to Mrs. Hanly, one of six assistant principals. 

“When everybody’s gone, there’s just not that day-to-day stress, but it’s a different stress. It’s like, I can’t see what’s going on, I mean I can try and get into classes thought Google Meets, but I just don’t know if that’s like a very realistic picture of what’s going on, you know, so it’s really hard to work on the things that we want to work on, without really being in a physical space with everybody, so it’s very lonely,” Hanly said. 

Due to these new working conditions, many activities aren’t the same anymore. Prior to remote learning, many activities that the administrative team pulls together had to stop, according to Mrs. Thompson, another assistant principal.

 “Everything just came to a halt. And we were in the middle of things like SAT prep, which is something that I’m involved with, and the HBCU College tour,” Thompson said.

These activities that they oversee, and the old kind of stress that they used to bring are missed by administration. Specifically, they miss the interactions they used to have with students throughout the year.

“I miss it, I miss the chaos, I miss the stress, … and I miss the day to day interactions with the kids. I really do, and I hope that we get that back,” Hanly said. 

According to Thompson, most of the administration team is still doing their day-to-day job of helping students and families virtually. Though they are still helping, she believes that she can’t give a different kind of help that she used to do in-person.

“I feel like that’s where most of the help happens, in those quick acquaintances as opposed to the help that we have to do that’s more on the intensive level. Like people not being in school at all and they need counseling, they need assistance, in that kind of way,” Thompson said. “So I do feel like I’m still able to give that kind of help. It’s that other random help that I used to give all the time, that’s just not there because the interactions are not there.” 

Even though students aren’t in the building, the administrative team is, and they still work hard every day, with constant meetings that can last a while. 

“I mean we’re in meetings all day long because we have team meetings still with staff, so we’re still meeting with our various teams. I’m still meeting with my department teams that we have, so I’d say on a given day, we could have four to five meetings online for full periods,” Hanly said.

With the meetings being held virtually, however, there is more flexibility with solving issues and concerns within the school.

“Admin meetings, the great thing is that you can pop in at any time, it’s like ‘hey, can everybody jump into a Meet, we have an emergency.’ As opposed to, I need to find everybody to show up in a conference room to have a conversation,” Thompson said 

As this year has been a challenge for everyone, administration has lost its ability to help students through the small interactions and experiences. They also lost the ability to control the school environment, which has made it a difficult year for them.

“Even if I’m racking my brain to make it a good experience, it will never be the experience that we’ve always had, because of the conditions, and it’s a terrible feeling. It’s a terrible feeling to know that I can’t control that, and to make everybody be OK,” Hanly said. “That’s a really hard thing for administrators because we’re so used to being in control, that we can’t control everything. And I mean control in a good way. It’s overwhelming and it’s frustrating, really.”