With so much attention on ‘learning loss’ and failures to reach students, we might miss the many positives that we’ve experienced. What we have learned, how we have coped, and how we have attended to our students and ourselves is well worth analyzing and examining. This once-in-a-century crisis should inspire us all to seek new ways to re-envision, re-imagine, and truly re-embrace the ideals of education so that we can reach even the most marginalized of us.
It is time to really look at the roles that our local communities have played and how we banded together and supported one another to push forward. It is time to rethink our schools and how we gained so much from learning and working together. It is time to look closely at what we have learned from our virtual, hybrid, and in-class experiences. There is so much to see!
Rather than backsliding to what we once were and idealize our past selves, we have to truly embrace the shifts that we have all made. As herculean as our efforts were and still are, our move to care for and teach our students outside of our classrooms and schools is too important to cast aside as we move beyond the COVID-19 crises. While there’s never been a magic bullet for making education work, there is an opportunity here that’s worth our attention.
We have all seen the force of the pandemic. We have to be willing to seize the potential of this moment in ways that make our next steps full of possibilities, hope, and inspiration.
Drs. Debbie Zacarian, Margarita Calderón and Margo Gottlieb, co-authors of Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural Inequities in Communities, Schools and Classrooms, show us what is possible.