Short Title

Leadership through Chaos


Leadership; communication; culture; resiliency


One of the sobering takeaways from the international pandemic is the concept of “new normal.” Indeed, many were entranced with the phrase in its advent, but over the last many months, the phrase has become one about which people have grown tired or weary. In some ways, "new normal" is a lens through which one can look at an organization's culture. That is, to what extent do the values and beliefs that are collectively held by those who are invested in an organization succumb to force from without the organization in times of crisis? In other words, despite stresses placed upon an organization from its surroundings, how does an organization adapt to maintain its primary purpose and meet the needs of its stakeholders?

Giving voice to and understanding the thoughts and experiences of various stakeholders involved in public education offers insights into organizational culture. In this article, we present perspectives of the experiences of stakeholders (campus administrators, teachers, parents, school staff) who interact with public educational organizations on personal and professional levels in a climate that can best be defined as uncertain and chaotic. Of particular interest is the commonality of the various thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about different yet shared experiences through a global pandemic.

Discussion questions addressed educational and personal impact, related to education, of COVID-19. Questions altered to address issues related to each of the "stakeholders." While specific questions were constructed to each of the stakeholder groups, common inquiries that supported discussion are below:

  1. How has COVID-19 most significantly impacted your role?
  2. How has COVID-19 impacted relationships externally in the school community?
  3. How has COVID-19 changed or otherwise impacted communication with parents and the community?
  4. How has COVID-19 changed or otherwise impacted relationships internally within the school community?



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