Educational leaders must be prepared to lead during crisis. Leadership has been challenged with multiple crisis in recent years, including issues of school safety, school shootings, medical crises such as SARs, HINI, and the ongoing pandemic. While each of these situations has resulted in multiple plans of actions, none has impacted our society as the current pandemic (COVID19) has, in terms of immediacy of needs and actions.
School and district leaders are in charge of managing many stakeholders, circumstances and have the authority and responsibility to lead with ethical behavior (Al Habusi, Ismail & Omar, 2018). Integrity, resilience, fairness help guide the components of ethical leadership that leaders need to model, communicate, and use as a framework for implementing and sustaining change in organizations (Hegarty & Moccia, 2018).
This book is targeted for leaders of educational systems, school buildings and those leaders of organizations that are connected in some way to educational systems and schools at all levels. The educational issues raised by the COVID pandemic, began in March 2020. The leadership needs identified throughout this crisis exemplifies many of the issues of crisis management, that is applicable to other issues, such as school violence, school safety, accidents and deaths that occur in every district.
Fern Aefsky has over 35 combined years of experience in PK–12 schools as a teacher and administrator and at the university level, working in leader preparation programs. She is a fulltime professor and director of graduate studies in education at Saint Leo University. Her areas of research and specialization are focused on collaborative leadership supportive of partnerships with all stakeholders to improve student outcomes through the lens of practitioners’ realities.
Introduction Fern Aefsky
Chapter 1: Crisis Leadership
Chapter 2: Crisis Management: Voices from the Field
Chapter 3: Leadership: Supporting Teachers, Students and Families during Crises
Chapter 4: Social Awareness and Transformative Action
Chapter 5: Crisis Leadership: Educating Students with Disabilities in times of Change
Georgina Rivera-Singeltary & Michael Bailey
Chapter 6: Mental Health Implications for Administrators, Faculty, Students and Families
Chapter 7: Crises Management: Operational Challenges for Educational Leaders
Jodi Lamb, Ed Dadez, & Fern Aefsky
Chapter 8: Lessons Learned
About the Contributors
About the Author
The authors who have contributed to this book, based on their expertise, provide both a scholarly account and real world perspective of educating through a pandemic. The description of the processes was a glimpse into what districts felt as they moved at lightening speed from traditional learning practices to temporary online learning. The book is not a deep historical account of crisis management, past pandemics or global issues rather, it tackles this pandemic from perspective of both the educators and stakeholders. The contributors voices come to life through the sharing of feelings and experiences making this book an easy and very relevant read.
Nothing quite like the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 has ever hit society and educational institutions. Crisis Leadership provides a comprehensive look at the various aspects of a pandemic crisis and the resultant demands for a wide range of leadership skills, with emphasis on the personal stories and trauma experienced by school personnel and an overview of the depth and complexity of this type of crisis. The "new normal" of life in the 21st Century will necessitate that leaders explore the vital information found in this book.
I found this book, to be timely, and profoundly thought provoking. It beckons educational leaders to respond! As a school administrator, I found this book to be helpful in re-connecting me to the larger community of school leaders who are now reshaping the means and delivery of education across the US. It also provides clear suggestions and ideas for school leaders as they continue to respond to the crisis.