Go Team Go!

On March 25th, I was introduced to Microsoft Teams and here I am 6 weeks later and I am a part of 70 teams, 68 of which I am co-owners with teachers so I have access to monitor the progress of our staff and students.  As a VP, my principal and I are working on time-tabling for next year. A day in the life these days contains multiple e-mails, and 2-3 Teams meetings with various staff members, as well as “chats” and “calls” answering numerous questions about our new online learning environment.  Hours are invested in a program called aSc Timetables which we use to schedule our classes and teachers.  This year has proven to be extra-challenging seeing as we can’t hold in-person course selection meetings, so I have been busy creating narrated power-points that we e-mail to our students and their parents.  I then contact our school social media head, to post announcements on Facebook and Instagram to remind kids and their parents to check their e-mail.   We held a follow-up Teams meeting with students that parents were welcome to attend, and it felt like dead air.  However, we received lots of e-mails and messages later. Parents are appreciative and patient with our new reality.  It is going to take time to get our community accustomed to these new forms of communication.  We’ve also used Googleforms to create a course selection sheet to replace our paper forms.  We often have to go back to an old-fashioned telephone call for reminders, teaching, and troubleshooting with staff, students, and their parents.  It has been a lot of work getting this process online, but we are finding that this is a great tool, we will be able to use in the future.  The silver lining to our new situation is the technological update we have needed.

8 thoughts on “Go Team Go!

  1. Sherrie,
    Wow – reading this truly made me feel stress FOR you. What an incredible set of adaptations you and your team have come up with. I know that we do not know each other well yet, but as a teacher who has had the privilege of working with administrators that appreciated, assisted and supported me in every way possible I feel as though I should tell you that all this work you are doing is appreciated on so many levels that you might get a chance to see every day or that you may not. It’s leaders like you who are truly a part of the team that change teacher’s experience in schools the same way great teachers do for their students.

    Best of luck!
    Please reach out if you need anything at all for this class!

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    • Thank you, Victoria. This is a steep learning curve for many of our teachers (actually straight up for some). I find myself feeling like a newbie in this course and it has made me appreciate the feelings that many of the teachers in our school, province, country, and world are feeling now. Losing control over our classrooms and schools is humbling to say the least. Embracing the unknown and focusing on creativity and curiosity seems to be the positive direction needed moving forward. I honestly feel as though I am in constant problem-solving mode at school. It is nice to know their are people like you out there ready to help.

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  2. Wow 70 teams and co-owner 68 that’s amazing. I’m going to have to get you to fill me in on your Teams adventure. Working through timetables at best of times hard must add another level with all the uncertainties. Always a bit of a tense time to see if you get the buy in and patience from the community. I agree that there are some silver linings among all this.

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    • All aspects of the job have been a new challenge. We also had new staff to hire and had to conduct interviews through Teams video. I’m just glad we have this technology to help us through.

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  3. HOLY 70 TEAMS!!! I thought I was getting a lot of notifications. I truly feel for the administrators and classroom teachers during this time. Please feel free to reach out (work-related or not) I would be glad to help out.

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    • Thanks Curtis, I’m sure you’ll
      hear from me regularly. 🤓 My phone dings constantly and you should see my calendar! I shared my calendar with the staff so they can see when everyone is booked. It’s pretty wild. It is amazing to see how everyone is handling the new teaching challenge.

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  4. I had to read, then re-read the 70 teams portion of your blog post a couple of times. 70!!! Kudos to you, Sherrie! I only have one SeeSaw classroom and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. I appreciated reading your post, as it comes from a totally different perspective from my own! I have spoken to a lot of fellow teachers, but it is good to see how other professionals (such as admin) are adapting to this new and crazy time. I know year end can be such a crazy time, and that’s when you’re in the “normal” school day environment, so i commend you for all of your hard work, and support you are giving your teams. As a teacher, I know how important it is to have that support and organization coming from your admin team :).

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  5. Thank you for the compliment Amy. We are all trying our best. Often at this time of year admin has one foot in the current school year and the other foot in the next. And you’re right this year is more challenging than ever as we don’t know what we are planning for exactly. That being said educators are quite resilient – we somehow managed to create an entire online school in 5 days so whatever the fall brings should be a piece of cake! Haha

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