My COVID-19 Toolkit – Beyond Toilet Paper and Hand Sanitizer

So I’m not proud to admit it’s been nine months since my last blog post. To be exact, it’s been 273 days.

I could have gestated another child during that time, and somehow I couldn’t find 30 minutes to write a single post?

But now that I’m grounded for the foreseeable future, my priorities have shifted. I may not be on the physical campuses of my client schools, but I’m certainly doing my best to be with them. Whether it’s answering questions, writing articles, sharing resources, or just being a sounding board … as far as I’m concerned, that’s all part of my job as a Consultant for ISM, whether or not I can do it in person.

No doubt, we all are trying to figure out our roles within schools and within our personal lives right now. Things changed in what seemed to be a matter of moments, and they continue to evolve minute by minute.

Even though I’m fortunate to be hunkered down with my immediate family, it doesn’t come without periods of isolation. For me, that means I have time to think deeply—perhaps more deeply than I’ve been able to in oh … the last 273 days or so.

So while I remain committed to providing practical and “how-to” advice for schools as we ride out the COVID-19 pandemic crisis together, this blog post is about the mental tools I’ve found most helpful during the early days in our shift to remote schooling and social distancing.

Here are my Top 4 COVID-19 Tools (in no particular order), but please share yours in the comments below. I’m eager to know what superpowers you’re employing as we navigate this new reality together.

#1 – Patience

I’ve never considered myself a particularly patient person (just ask my kids, and they’ll vouch for me on this). Whether it’s our schools, our local health officials, or our federal government, we all are standing on shifting ground. I’ve found that accepting that I don’t have all the answers right now—but they will eventually come—is reassuring.

#2 – Flexibility

This week I was scheduled to be consulting with a school in Michigan. Next week in Texas. And the following week preparing for some upcoming association presentations. All of that changed in the course of 48 hours. Sound familiar? Now my focus is on creating content for schools in need and preparing for remote delivery of an April speaking engagement. My methods may have changed, but my mission is 100% the same: provide exceptional value and customer service to our schools and my clients. This approach should hold true for schools as well.

Your buildings may have closed, but your mission is alive and well—your students and families need you now more than ever.

#3 – Vulnerability

Whether we supervise employees in our school, have children and partners that we love and support, or parents, friends, and family members that we’re concerned about—let’s get real for a moment. It’s really hard to be “okay” all of the time when you’re immersed in a 24/7 global crisis with its own timetable. Own your vulnerability. Ask for help. Lean on others … the six-foot social distancing rule notwithstanding.

#4 – Humor

If there’s been a bright and shining silver lining in the COVID-19 madness, it’s been the more frequent opportunities I’ve had to connect with my ISM team members since we are all home-bound and singularly focused. No doubt, most of our conversations are pretty heavy right now—you can imagine the kinds of questions and case studies we are working through because you are living it in your own school and job. That being said, the tense moments always seem to be lightened by a well-placed one-liner or gif. When it gets to feel just a bit too much, I’m all about jumping into some memes.

COVID-19 Meme

Link to or post a favorite of yours below, and above all, stay well!



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