COVID-19 related leadership resources

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Explore discussion prompts about how to lead during this time of crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Series 1

These online resources offer thought-provoking perspectives and pose important questions for education leaders to reflect on the skills needed to lead their schools through a crisis.

The resources can help education leaders discover new ways to manage and maintain relationships, foster agency, support professional learning communities, sustain teaching and learning, as well as guide reflection. 


How do I lead in a time of crisis? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a dramatic interruption in the way we lead. This resource offers insights on what questions are most helpful to be asking right now to help you lead through crisis. 

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How do I sustain our community and our relationships?

Leaders are now being asked to work in circumstances most have never experienced before. This discussion prompt offers tips for surviving school closures, managing distance learning, and moving into the 'new normal'.  

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How is COVID-19 changing the balance of power?

Leadership in a crisis has to balance taking quick decisions and leaving room for agency. This online resource further explores the concept of agency and how leaders can help create a safe environment for others to engage with their own agency in times of crisis.

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How is teaching and learning changing a little and a lot?

As students and teachers learn to do things differently as a result of the pandemic, this is an opportunity to reimagine what teaching and learning could look like in the future.  

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What are we learning as a teaching profession?

New networks have been created overnight as professionals reach out to each other to share ideas on how to continue to work effectively despite the COVID-19 crisis. As teachers learn to do things differently, this is an opportunity to reimagine what professional learning could look like in the future. 

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What are we learning as leaders?

Developing a capacity for leadership is a dynamic and evolutionary process that has learning at the centre. IB leaders need to draw upon a range of intellectual capabilities when learning about the context of their school, confronting problems, and exploring new opportunities. Explore the IB leadership intelligences. 

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Series 2

Our second series of leadership resources offers leaders perspectives and guiding questions to support their preparation for a 'return to school' and an unpredictable future, with consideration for the needs of the entire learning community.

Explore these resources on your own and with your team, with reflections around the following topics: returning with an appreciation of well-being, leadership strategies and priorities, designing learning, and reflecting on and remembering the collective experience.


How can we use our experience to re-design education?

Returning to the classroom will for most be a joy but the approach to teaching and learning will have developed into a new normal. Teachers and students will return with new skills and expectations. Embracing the new normal and incorporating the tools that work well in our remote learning will serve us well as we move between the physical and virtual world.

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How do we create future looking strategies in a world that is so uncertain?

Being a strategic thinker at its most basic simply means thinking a few steps ahead - but those who make a habit of looking not only further ahead but even around the corner (Rosaolind Torres 2013) are the ones who are now proving to be the most successful. How school leaders can engage more with strategic thinking in a time when crisis management seems to be the core of every day work, is the challenge. Schools should be prepared to juggle between providing remote learning at home and providing face to face teaching on the school campus.

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What are we learning? Where are we right now?

Metacognition is one of the hallmarks of IB philosophy of leadership. Allowing for collective reflection of the impact on individuals and the community, can help us identify how we faced unimaginable challenges and empower us to consider the impossible, possible.

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What do we need to consider as we prepare to return to school?

COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown measures have closed schools for over 90% of the world’s student population as a strategy to help prevent the spread of the virus. For varying reasons, in May 2020 a number of countries have started to reopen them. However, school systems must also plan for local or national viral resurgence. Preparing means being ready for multiple waves of closures and reopening, which will entail blending remote and in-person learning.

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What should our priorities be as we go back to school?

How do we best support staff and student well-being? What adaptations of teaching and learning are needed to embrace new technologies and the vast array of exceptional tools available now and how do we decide what to take into the new future? Consideration of the reconstruction of the school day becomes a priority with potential emphasis on themes and concepts and less on heavily constructed content driven curricula. With experienced flexibility of how, when and where learning is taking place, how does that change our priorities for the future? 

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What story will we design together to help build understanding of the present an hope in the future?

Great stories get you delving into who you are, too. Schools have been good at telling compelling stories, often enshrined in their mission (what they do) and vision (where they are going) statements. Great teachers have always known how to use a story to teach an important idea or to drive home a point.

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