Drastic Change for Mrs. Beckmann and Mrs. Hagedorn


Lily F, Progress and Change

Since March 16th things have changed drastically for St. Robert, and especially for Mrs. Beckmann and Mrs. Hagedorn, the women who ensure that the school continues to run no matter the state of the world. A global pandemic brought a lot of worry and stress to everyone as COVID-19 began to rise in America. Despite the chaos, Mrs. Beckmann and Mrs. Hagedorn continued to do their jobs. The two are both known to help run the school, but that job has gotten even harder now that the school switched to virtual learning.  They were once working in the school’s office, and now like many others, they are working in their homes. Some may think that their job could become easier now, but in reality that is not the case. Mrs. Hagedorn and Mrs. Beckmann share their struggles and successes, and how they are working on improving St. Robert School. 

Mrs. Hagedorn is known around St. Robert as the school secretary. However, her role has been somewhat altered due to the pandemic. She is still doing the main tasks that she would accomplish in school but has adapted to do them in a new environment. While she says there are many ways that she hasn’t adapted to working at home, some ways she has is by eating an actual lunch instead of snacks, and she gets dressed before going to “work”. Not working inside St. Robert’s building has made Mrs. Hagedorn face some struggles. She explains why it has been hard when she stated, “There are 271 reasons why I love St. Robert students, and I enjoy getting to know them more each day.” She never gets to interact with the students anymore unless she is seeing them on Facebook with their family, which she admits she does enjoy seeing. She is also disappointed that she won’t be able to see the 8th graders again this year. Not only does she miss the students, but she also misses her colleagues. During this time she is in awe of their amazing talents, and she is looking forward to laughing with them again. Lastly, some things she likes during this pandemic is the bit of extra time she has. She enjoys walking her dog, and the coffee breaks she gets with her husband. However, she’d much rather be in the school building with the St. Robert community. 

Moreover, while Mrs. Hagedorn shared some of her struggles as her job changes with the pandemic, Mrs. Beckmann also shared how her role in the St. Robert community has become more challenging. “My job has always been challenging, but it has been the right work for me, so it feeds my spirit and is life-giving,” says Mrs. Beckmann. While the challenge of being a principal is constant under any circumstances, the role certainly looks different today.. While Mrs. Beckmann “once depended on the intimacy of human contact to interpret needs and deliver service, I now have to rely on digital communications like email, phone calls, and videoconferencing.” She even finds herself responding to emails late into the evening until she goes to bed. The extended days would be extremely difficult for anyone, but this truly shows her dedication to St. Robert and how she is willing to sacrifice her personal time to better the school. Mrs. Beckmann has an incredible work ethic and is always here to support her community. However, online learning hasn’t been the easiest to manage. She says managing online school is much more draining because she doesn’t get to experience the joy of each day with the students, and she doesn’t get to see the “fruits of her labor” as easily. Lastly, Mrs. Beckmann shares what she misses most. She is tired of sitting at her desks hours upon hours and prefers to collaborate on work, as she did when the school was open. Another thing that is difficult is the loss of face-to-face contact. She feels an emptiness inside when she walks the halls of St. Robert and all that meet her is still, cold silence. 

While this may be a very difficult time, the leaders of St. Robert has transformed their work and are doing everything they can to keep the school a success for now and moving forward. Mrs. Hagedorn went from being the “school nurse” and treating sick students to now researching about COVID-19 and organizing health strategies for the upcoming year. She also helps teachers with attendance records, prepares the parent newsletter, and works on other projects for Mrs. Beckmann. Mrs. Beckmann shares how she is helping St. Robert runs smoothly as she explains, “I liken my role to that of an air traffic controller.  My job is to keep the planes flying and make sure nobody crashes.” She makes sure everything is going as planned and that there are no unexpected crashes for the teachers or the students. To accomplish this she has to research, observe, communicate, and listen every day to the community and their needs. 

Everyone can agree this is a very difficult time, and it may not be easy to overcome. However, due to the great leaders St. Robert has like Mrs. Beckmann and Mrs. Hagedorn, St. Robert will be able to surpass this difficult time, and the St. Robert community will come out of this stronger than before. 


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