Crisis leadership: Experiences of K-12 principals in South Texas school districts during the COVID-19 Pandemic




Teran, Katherine


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The COVID-19 pandemic which began in March of 2020 was the start of a crisis no one ever anticipated experiencing in our lifetime. Education was impacted on many levels and the effects continue today. K-12 schools experienced a new way of teaching and learning when forced to utilize modes of online learning to continue with school as communities faced COVID-19 fears and waves of sickness until a vaccine was made available. Although COVID-19 has now began to dissipate, schools continue to face instructional gaps with students having lost instruction for a little over a year on top of the already existing instructional gaps. Lives have been affected with staff, students, and families having experienced COVID-19 or lost a friend or family member to it. Educational leaders had not experienced leading through a crisis such as a pandemic. This qualitative study is expected to make a crucial contribution to the existing body of literature of crisis leadership and traditional leadership approaches. Six principals in South Texas school districts were interviewed to gain a better understanding of their experiences and leadership approaches and skills they utilized as they navigated through uncharted territories. Major themes across the participant data included: (1) crisis informs leadership, (2) crisis reshapes leadership approaches, (3) crisis hones leadership skills, (4) crisis required addressing social emotional realm, and (5) crisis reshapes instruction.



education, educational leadership, principals, south texas, covid-19, pandemic



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