All of the struggles, the highs and lows, and the emotions of remote learning has made the start to the 2020-2021 school year a confusing and disorientating time. As school kicks into higher gear, many students at Camas High School are wondering how school is going to change. The people with the most answers: school administrators. The Camasonian wanted to know how those decisions are being made and what life is like for administrators when there are few students on campus.
Owen Sanford, the freshman associate principal at CHS, likes to spend his free time with family and friends and going on adventures. However, as an administrator, work has started to take longer and requires more effort and time than before.
Sanford says that his workload has become more difficult because of all of the challenges online learning brings to being an administrator. “Before Covid, I had to fill out a couple of behavior referrals a day and go to meetings with other admins, teachers, and other school officials to discuss school events and occurrences. Now it’s more demanding, because online school is completely different than in-person school, and we have to figure out what to do about it. I have to work with other administrators, from other schools even, to find ways to handle schedules, behavioral problems in Zoom calls, and hybrid learning. All of these decisions take time because it’s all so new for us.”
Associate Principal Tim Fox added, “So much of how I approach my work is based on my relationships and connections with people. Whether that is in my evaluations of teachers, when I lead a project or initiative when I have to discipline a student. All of this centers on relationships because I believe these things are better when there is a foundation of trust, respect, and care for one another. This is possible in the virtual world, of course, especially when your camera is on, but it’s far more challenging.”
The workload for CHS admins has significantly increased and has gotten generally harder with the struggles of online learning and work.
Hybrid learning is something that is extremely controversial among CHS staff, especially for the admin. Some students love the way online school works and never want to go back, while others are stressed out and wish for in-person school. There is hardly a middle ground.
Camas administrators are working very hard to decide if a hybrid schedule is ideal or if it would just cause more problems, as the Camas community is starting to put pressure on returning to in-person school.
Being an online admin is something that Sanford never anticipated, but he said that “we were all kind of backed into this, and we all have to overcome it together.”
Not all of online learning is bad for administrators though; many have learned how to use resources that they normally would have never used back in in-person school. Sanford anticipates that teachers will permanently continue to use these resources as they are fun and useful in a classroom environment, such as Kahoot or Quizlet Live.
Fox offers a different perspective on online school.
He said “because we’re all in a similar situation world-wide, there is so much available online than there ever has been before. Filtering through all of it takes more work, but there is just a lot that we can learn from out there. I have connected with educators from all over the world that have been willing to share their ideas and listen to mine. At the end of the day though, this work is about people, and that will never change. That is what I love most about this work.”
Both Fox and Sanford will continue to be hard-working associate principals at CHS, even with the new ground called online learning.