Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership
Defining what a crisis is can be challenging because the definition may vary based on information such as who the person defining it is and the context in which this person resides or learns. Educators and community members may argue that their educational organizations have always been in crisis depending on where their schools are located, their schools’ resources, and their students’ learning outcomes and well-being. Thus, for these communities it may be difficult to pinpoint how and when a crisis hits.
In this case study, the author defines crisis as, any situation that disrupts the education and training process and makes it inoperable is defined as a crisis (Mutch, 2015). The importance of being prepared for a crisis in schools cannot be understated (Brock, 2002). The question is not whether a crisis will occur, but rather when the crisis will hit, how serious it will be, and what the response should be. Principals influence their school’s culture (Fullan & Quinn, 2016; Purkey and Novack, 1988). The culture of an organization determines the way people are treated, how places are maintained, and how programs and policies are elaborated and implemented. School culture dictates the way things are done. In educational organizations, the culture influences student learning as well as teacher retention and well-being (Bryk & Schneider, 2003; Fullan & Quinn, 2016; Gruenert & Whitaker, 2019; Hess 2013; Purkey & Novack, 1988; Tschannen-Moran & Gareis, 2015). If educational leaders understand how to create and maintain inviting school cultures during times of crisis, then learning, teaching, and well-being could be less negatively impacted. This teaching case study takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when schools were suddenly mandated to deliver instruction remotely. The first section of this teaching case study presents relevant background information. Subsequent sections focus on the case itself and the teaching notes findings. The last part provides some reflective activities.
Brion, Corinne, "Leading in Times of Crisis" (2021). Educational Leadership Faculty Publications. 256.