Here’s What to Do with Support Staff
Whether you are partially or 100% virtual, do not cut your support staff out of the picture! You don’t have to, and you won’t want to after you read how other school leaders are using all their “extra” staff members to enrich instruction and engage more students and parents!! READ ON…
There are three basic functions your support staff can step in and provide that will make the shift to virtual instruction run smoothly and effectively….and make you look like a genius! (You probably do anyway!) From here on, we’ll refer to support staff as SS. That could also stand for Super Stars, Super Staff, etc. Super because they will become a vital part of making your entire shift to virtual seamless and way more effective than anyone ever imagined.
Now, here are just three functions your SS can perform:
SS as Team Members
Assign SS as members of grade level or content area teams. Just go with the teams you have established, or think about how you will team your teachers for collaboration, planning, support, etc. Here are ways they can support their team:
- Facilitate a flexible small group (practice a skill, monitor enrichment, check in on high interest project, etc.)
- Parallel teach in areas where they are comfortable
- Collaborate with the team to include their area of expertise in an interdisciplinary lesson, project, or unit.
- Co-teach and be the extra hand to take care of the techie details and make sure students are engaged and getting answers in chat.
SS as Tech Support and/or PD and Peer Coaches
You may have many SS who are tech savvy or now have time to become so. You might have support staff who would be great peer coaches to provide feedback and support to new teachers and or teachers who struggle with the transition to online platforms and tools. Specifically, they can:
- Provide tech support
- Provide an extra hand
- Facilitate school-wide or grade-level projects and virtual events related to their area of expertise (librarian can host a bookathon or book party, art teacher can host virtual visual contest around an important theme, etc.)
SS as Administrative Assistants and Home/School Laisons
Communication with home is even more crucial with virtual instruction. It’s easy for parents and students to feel confused, overwhelmed, and out of the loop! They need to know what to do and how to do it. They don’t always feel comfortable or just don’t have the time to reach out. Lucky you! You have support people who can help! Your SS can step up and become your assistants in a well-functioning Home Communication System! Here’s just a few of the ways they can help.
- Collaborate with teachers to set up and operate regularly scheduled conferences (Yes, this can happen weekly!)
- Reach out to families who need support
- Help parents with technology and make sure they know how to help their child
- Serve as the go-to for answers during scheduled “office hours” on a dedicated school phone line or Zoom meeting.
Here’s the deal. It takes a village…a virtual village to make this year really great for your students, parents, and teachers. All your teachers! Use your SS in creative ways. Don’t let all that talent, energy, and expertise go to waste!
I’ve been helping schools create and implement plans that incorporate all their staff so they get the maximum benefit of working together to problem solve and overcome challenges. It’s totally possible for you too. I can help you do it.
When you’re ready, just reach out. CONTACT LINDA