May 4, 2022

Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide (Ep 4): ”A Day in the Life”

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to teach art to first graders or Spanish to seniors? Ever curious how a head of school spends their day?  In this week’s episode, we share stories and lived realities from three distinct vantage points: Nancy Rivas (Co -Chair of the Department of World and Classical Languages), Jessica Farris (Lower School Art Teacher), and Kevin Lewis (Head of School).

 

4:37-6:12: Why no two days are the same for a head of school.

 

6:26-7:28: Jessica shares a day in the life of teaching art: a mix of predictability and unpredictability.

 

7:25-9:39: Nancy describes a day in her life: punctuated with both structure and flexibility, awash with emails galore, and most joyful when she is actually teaching Spanish: “we’ve planned, we’ve dreamed about it, and we interact with our students.”

 

10:21-14:25: What we all learned from the past few weeks of stormy weather in relation to communication from admin to faculty. 

 

14:25-17:42 : Jessica shares a list she imagines makes up Kevin’s day to run by him, and she is remarkably on target; Kevin shares one of his biggest challenges in this role: “being accessible and available to every individual so I can listen and learn”

 

17:44-18:53: Kevin’s philosophy regarding faculty support: “Stay out of your way as much as possible . . . [and] take admin things off faculty’s plates so you can do the magic you do in the classroom.”

 

19:25-22:07: Real talk about how time consuming communication to students, colleagues, admin is for faculty all day long.

 

22:20-24:02: Why Jessica thinks we could all learn a lot from listening to each other’s daily lived realities, and how co-curricular teachers at lower school recently worked to bridge the gap with classroom teachers there: “We are all so passionate, we are all so invested in care, and our days are full . . .  understanding what is happening helps you be more compassionate/trusting.”

 

24:02-26:02: Why faculty to faculty story sharing could also help perceptions of equity across divisions.

 

26:02-28:00:  How real listening takes “putting the brakes on from ‘I just have to get things done’”; and how listening and slowing down might aid in health and wellness, not just for the individual, but our entire community.

 

28:26-30:30: Why taking an art class might be the key to bridging all the gaps: “You can’t solve a problem without imagination. You can’t have empathy without imagination.” 

 

33:22-34:29:  The value of time, not just chronological time but a “mental space” for creative work to go to fruition. 

 

34:30-38:00: 3 snapshots in time that recently showed Kevin the magic of our community, and why individual interactions with folks helps him relate back to why he does what he does.  

 

39:08-41:55: How that time Shea jumped in to finish carpool so Jessica could work on her lesson plans helped motivate Jessica to do her best for her students and team; and the vital importance of admin leaders showing vulnerability and cognitive flexibility.

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