Better together: 2 years later so much has changed… what will tomorrow bring?

Two years ago today, the Covid-19 pandemic had really started to affect us locally, at state level, nationally and globally. Locally, it had been a few weeks since the first confirmed case. Concerts, the NBA, events and most notably locally, the beloved ACC basketball tournament had all been cancelled. Schools all across our area had closed. The local headlines seemed on the very day (March 13, 2020) our schools all across the state (and for the most part, nationally) closed.

Since that day so much has changed in our world and especially our profession. The shift to virtual school, back to in person in a cohort model, back to virtual when variants spiked, mask mandates, vaccinations, boosters, return to school at full capacity, etc. So many shifts in the last school year — enough to make ones head spin when they stop and think of it.

Education is tough. Education during the middle of a global pandemic, even tougher. Now we see more hurdles. The great resignation sweeping the nation has hit our schools, too. With so many staff outages daily, unfilled positions, etc. teachers and school administrators all across the country find themselves often filling these gaps. Trying to maintain daily structure while filling staffing needs however possible is a new level of challenging.

It is clear the past two years have taken quite the toll on everyone. Our profession is not spared. As we rethink our profession in a post-covid world there is a lot to consider. It is evident we must make the profession attractive to those who might and hopefully would consider entering the field. Stakeholders with most ties to pursestrings depending on individual states’ salary structures would do a great service by making significant adjustments to salary structures within public education. While increased pay would help significantly, especially to those just starting out in the profession it would also assist in attraction to the profession which began taking a hit in the years leading up to the pandemic now even more significant. Expecting professionals to continue to do more with less simply isn’t attainable. We must look at effective ways to rethink how we do things in a post-pandemic world in general, our profession is no different.

As a general rule most of the voices in the back making significant noise aren’t the answer. Arguing over non-existent “problems” and attempting to create political points over such is problematic to put it mildly. We can and should be better as a nation.

Take time to listen. Our teachers, administrators, support personnel and most of all, the students we all serve, need us now more than ever. It is so important we support one another. Is it one more thing? Absolutely. Does it take a village? Always. Is it vital for success in a school year truly like no other? You better believe it.

Self care and balance has been the hallmark for many during the past two years. I’ve preached this often throughout and stand by it daily. I can’t say enough how important it is now more than ever to check on each other though. Focus on the positives and stand up for one another. Offer support when needed.

We may not know what the future holds but I am fortunate to work with so many amazing educators both directly and indirectly I have no doubt it will be bright. Better together. We’ve got this. Trust and believe.

Wrapping up 2021. Breathe. Continued balance. Perspective. Repeat daily.

2020 was a lot. 2021 has proven to be even more. Our profession has really taken a hit locally, throughout the state and nation. Teachers, central office personnel and fellow school administrators are leaving the profession. Maintaining high morale has been a challenge while navigating my own. A few things have kept me balanced throughout navigating my career through the nearly past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Making family/loved ones, friends, health/wellness, and hobbies a focus while having clear work/home balance each and every day have helped significantly.

NPR ran the article below today that really hit me.

Times are tough in our society and especially education. Maintaining a growth mindset, focusing on our circle of control and silver linings are vital.

Make time daily for wellness. Ideally well over an hour but less if needed. Uninterrupted. Phone in another room. Focused. Peloton is my universe of choice but choose what works best for you and stick with it. Make it part of your day. Completely free of distractions – that is key. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel physically and mentally. Ample sleep nightly and well balanced meals help significantly, too.

Make time for family. If they’re far away — call, Zoom, Facetime. If near make time once a week to see them even for an hour or so. Device and distraction free.

Make time for friends. Make time at least once a week to catch up with friends in some capacity. Also uninterrupted time is paramount here.

Make time for a hobby or two. You can do it solo or with family, friends, loved one(s) just make the time to find the joy. For me it is fitness, going on walks on the greenways or trails, listening to some vinyl, reading, or even the occasional Netflix binge. Find what works for you and stick with it.

Work is vital but it is not our everything it shouldn’t consume our daily lives 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Far from it. Balance.

Focusing on negatives accomplishes nothing and is in fact counterproductive. Focus on the positive aspects of work and life. Yes 2021 has been tough but shown below are just a sampling of some of the positive vibes that 2021 has provided professionally to put things in perspective.

We’ve got this. Happy Holidays and a very happy 2022 to all!

Balance and the importance of self-care in our daily lives

Two phrases we hear often in not only education but in the work space as a whole as well as throughout society are balance and self-care. Its so easy to go into rabbit holes of work, work, work, and nothing else if we let it consume us. We always have to be sure we make a valiant attempt to strike the right balance between work productivity, life, self-care and making sure are personal connection needs are met,

One of the things that struck me often, especially before the Covid-19 pandemic completely upended our collective worlds in early 2020, was how “great” I was at maintaining a “work-life balance.” Every day I would cut off from from the outside world almost entirely while at work. As soon as I left for the day a switch seemingly occurred, I was done. Able to focus almost exclusively on friends, family and myself for the rest of the day, weekend, etc. I’m very accessible at work — all stakeholders have my direct number — but it was wide known not to contact me unless an emergency after work hours. I had this down.

As the pandemic rolled along and our lives changed to a work from home model and gradually in person then fully in person throughout the 2020-21 school year, I started to read more about moving away from this “work life balance” model and instead thinking of balance as an ongoing circle. This has been something I’m striving to do, and self-care is woven in.

This TED Talk really spoke to me. It was filmed just as vaccines started to rollout in early 2021 and we were about a year into the pandemic. Our lives had totally shifted. How do we focus on building capacity in others? Instead of taking on so many tasks ourselves embrace those around us. Share. Lead by example. Shift. All the adjustments that have been made as school leaders from the beginning of the pandemic, ongoing and throughout — wow. Mind blowing in retrospect. What did we learn? How did we adjust? How are we better? How will we maintain balance going forward?

For me personally, I dedicate time and space 6 days a week for self-care in the form of fitness. 30-90 minutes daily. If I have plans in the evening I’ll get up earlier in the morning and knock it out. Must be a priority. For both my physical fitness and overall well being but also time to completely disconnect from the outside world. Excuses go out the window. Just do it.

I also devote time and space several days a week for friends and family. Uninterrupted and again, disconnected. The personal connection time, no matter how busy we get, it vital. Also is completely focused and connected on the person (or people) not our devices.

Time and space for hobbies for me its been walks 2-3 times a week alone or with a friend enjoying the community, nature, the area and fresh air. Refreshing. Also, listening to music, specifically my love for vinyl a few times a week. Losing self in music can be so beneficial. Blogging, writing and taking time to read a book for pleasure can also give great joy. Find hobbies that bring you joy, relaxation and a brief pause from the day to day grind.

All of these forms of self care are also intertwined in our balance and something that is so beneficial for our overall well being.

We always have ways to stop, pause and reflect. This was an area I struggled with for so long. Now I focus on daily — a priority. All around. Balance. Self-care. Mid-2021 and beyond. How are you doing? Real talk. You are 1 of 1. Limited edition.

Navigating social media during challenging times and lessons learned from a pause in usage

In the months since I last blogged our collective lives have changed even more. COVID-19 remains with us and without a vaccine continues to alter our worlds. In the wake of the recent deaths of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor on top of years of racial inequities outrage sparked nationwide and even globally. These events have resulted in rapid idealogical shifts along with much needed conversations and in many cases action to lead toward real movements to confront these inequalities all across the nation. By far the positives of people trying their best to become better allies, supporters and friends while deepening overall understanding, learning and growing within the ongoing work was evident throughout social media.


We all are living in very anxious times during these times of such uncertainty. Since the pandemic rocked the world in March our lives have drastically shifted. We’ve had to collectively shift our day to day lives as we all navigate living with a global pandemic.


When will there be a vaccine? How and when will large in person concerts and sporting events return? What about schools? When will we have more normalcy in our world? So many questions. So much unpredictability. Social media can assist with the pandemic at local, state, federal and global level when reliable information/sources are utilized.

Social media is a great and powerful tool. It’s been a significant part of my life for well over a decade, especially Twitter. I joined the platform nearly a decade ago and had so much impact on my life even once blogged about my entry into the Twitterverse.

I’ve always operated all social media platforms under the mindset of using Facebook and Twitter for good. During these often unstable times this is especially true.

However far too often we see users not abiding by this. Actively complaining, engaging in unhealthy/productive conversations and not abiding by social media etiquette best practices. What value is added by utilizing social media platforms in such a way?

The above mentioned activity became so toxic recently in my own social media circle that I voluntarily cut out all social media for over a week. Logged off my laptop, desktop, all iOS social media apps. Done. Didn’t think about it for over a week. Life went on. The break from the negative energy was refreshing, honestly. I had so much more of my day left. I lived my life completely removed from the social media bubble. After a week plus away I was rejuvenated.

Below are some sound resources on social media best practices.


We are living in very trying times as a society. We all deal with stress in a variety of ways. Be mindful of who and what you represent. Your words matter. Pause and reflect before you post.