A Brief Summary of Our 2020-21 Academic Year

by Dr. Christina M. Macalino, June 2021

I wrapped up my 16th year in education and Elin wrapped up her 15th year in education. Yaaas! Here is a brief summary of our most memorable school year. 

Christina’s 2020 – 2021 Academic Year

July 23, 2020: Submitted letter of resignation as a K-8 vice principal. Yes, this is a bit late in the game to resign from an educator position, especially since my official return to school date was July 27, 2021. 

July – September 2020: Self reflection. Self reflection. Self Reflection. Also, I applied to four various administrative jobs. And in between each application cycle, I was contemplating whether or not I should just take the entire year off. Once again, a lot of self reflection. 

October 2020: Started a new administrative position as an Administrative Program/Instructional Specialist at a Bay Area middle school. 

December 2020 – January 2021: Tested positive for COVID-19. It was a lonely and tough holiday season, but I am grateful to be alive for this was a lonely and sad time for the masses. 

October 2020 – June 2021: Via virtual settings and social distancing, I fulfilled my administrative roles and responsibilities, and attempted to build relationships and community partnerships with students, staff, and other school stakeholders to the best of my [virtual] ability. There were times I felt like a first year teacher and administrator, but there were many instances where this virtual, social-distancing setting allowed me to take a step back and reflect on how I can fulfill my current roles, responsibilities, tasks, projects in a more equitable, culturally responsive manner. In other words, it allowed me to reset, something I have always wanted to do each school year but never had the time or opportunity to do so. 

June 5 – June 30, 2021: On medical leave for my 8th brain procedure/surgery. 

Elin’s 2020 – 2021 Academic Year

May 2020: Accepted a new position and resigned while on maternity leave. 

June & July 2020: Anxiously following all of the news about the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests. Attended and participated in school board meetings to demand that implicit bias training and anti-racism professional development be considered and implemented. 

August 2020: Started at a new school as a school counselor while working from home – didn’t meet any coworkers or step foot on campus.

September – December 2020: Struggled with completing my roles and responsibilities virtually; I tried to find ways to connect with students and families. Grew restless with the lack of equity work happening at my school site.

December 2020 – January 2021: Was hit with COVID-19 and was forced to slow down and reflect. 

February 2021- April 2021: Took matters into my own hands and really started to implement practices that I knew would benefit my caseload. This was also the time that we were made to come back onto campus and deal with the stress that caused. I no longer silenced myself and spoke up each time I felt that something was not being done to serve our Black and brown students. I was attending equity and anti-racist task force meetings, within my district and also with the state association for school counselors. 

May 2021: Made myself slow down and reflect on  the school year and how I show up at my school site. Implemented more self-care since I was feeling the burn out. I felt the need to create more professional development opportunities for the counseling department to do more intentional work on equity and anti-racism, so I drafted a proposal for the 2021-22 school year and presented it to my principal. 

Elin and Christina ~ Our Work Together

May – November 2020: Creating and organizing resources and hosting implicit bias awareness discussions for educators and parents. 

December 2020 – 2021: Re-examining our educator why and rebranding our work from EMPowered Educational Consultants (LLC) to Empowered Conversations with Elin and Christina. 

February 2021 – June 2021: Launched our  new website which includes our bi-monthly blogs and podcasts! 

Elin and Christina’s Summer Plans and Beyond

These self care actions are a must, so we can continue to:

Tune in to our podcast Season 1, Episode 10 to hear more about our 2020-21 academic year reflections. 

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