The cornerstone of a strong school community is trust. As a principal, I have to trust my teachers, and my teachers have to trust each other. Last school year, after a year-and-a-half of interruptions and being away from each other, our school community needed repair when we returned to in-person instruction.
Our school,Jeanne R. Meadows Elementaryin San Jose, California was—like other Title 1 schools—disproportionately affected by hardships triggered by the pandemic, as well as the political and racial unrest that followed.
In addition to the challenge of learning loss, we saw widespread behavioral and interpersonal challenges as students tried to cope with our new normal. We needed to elevate social-emotional learning alongside our academic goals in order for our students to progress.