Jul 20, 2020

Looking on the Bright Side (there really is one)

Pandemic planning is not a trained competency for most educators.

For many, the month of July is normally a restful moment in the academic cycle. It is the one month where faculty, staff, and administrators have the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and plan for the next one. And, it is often the only sacred month that many educators take some much-needed vacation.

But, this academic year cycle is different. It has school, college, and university planners on their back heels. Across the nation and throughout the globe, educators are planning for different opening scenarios, each with a variety of shifts and changes based upon changing local and state guidelines for battling the coronavirus. And, just like that old children’s game, whack o’mole, when schools and colleges feel like they have it figured out, they get thrown a new curveball.

Pandemic planning is not a acquired competency for most educators. And, that is OK. But, look on the bright side. This is the dawn of rethinking education.

Yes, these are really challenging times. Take your pick of tough stuff to think about and overcome each day. It is a lot. But, I really do believe there is a bright side to all of this craziness.

Educators have been talking – and I do mean talking – about rethinking education for a long time. Whether it be reimagining the use of time, redefining leadership, recalibrating access, harnessing technology to meet a new era, these are not new ideas. No, these ideas have been debated and discussed for two decades. But, talk is cheap when there are no real costs and when no one really is impacted by a lack of progress. Now, well, now things are different.

Just like learning to ride a bike, you never really know you are doing it until, well, you are doing it. We may not be able to see it at the moment, but education is in the process of being redefined and recreated. We will do things different in the future because we must, not because it is an interesting academic discussion. We will make education stronger, our experiences more student-centered, and our organizations more resilient as a result of this pandemic.

Look on the bright side. There really is one.

Leave a Comment