Dear Immanuel, Lutheran School teachers, staff, students, parents, and church congregation:
As your incoming principal, it is important that I make myself available right away and assure you that transitioning has been happening! Although my designated start date is Monday, April 6, School Board President Marcia, Pastor Warren, Principal Delaine, and Jan have been instrumental in the transition of leadership through ongoing communication. Their wisdom is much appreciated; because of their professionalism, I am in the know of how Immanuel’s teachers, students, and parents are interacting, especially through the last several weeks of e-learning. I attended Wednesday’s faculty meeting, and I continue to have a strong confidence in the remote learning process, due to the massive efforts of our teachers!
We have heard the word “essential” repeatedly in the news of late. Essential workers, essential needs, essential stores are some examples. In the world of teaching and learning, educators often attach words to describe what is absolutely necessary for students, such as essential standards, essential questions, essential learning, and essential learning outcomes. Let me add that our teachers are in fact essential and critical to the learning process, as they make decisions and plans to deliver and facilitate instruction to our students. Immanuel teachers, along with teachers across the world, have recently self-directed their professional development, adding many different skills as they work harder than ever fine tuning our new world of mandated remote learning.
A few years ago, remote learning started in Illinois as e-learning snow days. After piloting e-learning and finding success, Illinois created guidelines and rules for this initiative. Many Illinois schools and districts dabbled in remote learning and were in the process of planning how it would look in their schools.Typically, this type of initiative for a school would take at least a couple of years. Who would have thought, remote learning would be in full force… ready or not!
So here we are… smack in the face of distance learning! I will tell you that our teachers at Immanuel have been working harder than ever as they hone their remote classroom routines; we will continue to adjust facilitation and communication strategies. We cannot forget our partnership with parents; parents, thank you for your efforts and actions to make remote learning work for your children! As always, Immanuel is here for you. Don’t let any question go unasked.
Remember, administrators are also on a learning curve! As your incoming principal, I will work with the school team moving forward to continue the good work that Principal Delaine has initiated! In addition to the Illinois State Board of Education, accreditation and recognition entities will be looking for evidence and documentation of solid remote teaching and learning. As a best practice, I plan to engage with our teachers on this management task as we customize the e-learning program for Immanuel.
I so look forward to meeting all of you… at this time, I wish it could be face-to-face and in person, but until then, let’s chat informally through (virtual) Café 941. Make yourself a latte and let’s get to know each other in our newly developed Café space! Look for details to come.
Dr. Joy Mullaney
Immanuel Lutheran School, Palatine, IL