As we end this historic, unprecedented year we must remember the multitude of lessons we learned. We must aim to embody the saying, “when you know better, you do better”. We were quickly reminded of the ways in which social inequities create barriers to access and quality learning experiences. As we navigate these challenges, we cannot forget to value the voices and experiences of our students and families, and use their insight to inform solutions and next steps. We hold the power to help bridge the gaps.
Overwhelmingly, we’ve heard that virtual learning is hard. It is hard for everyone- students, parents, caregivers, teachers, school faculty and district personnel. We are all working to do the best we can with the resources we have. I applaud the school and district adjustments that have been made as a result of parent feedback. We appreciate the time taken to streamline lunch breaks, create spaces for additional review or acceleration of course material, and quickly respond to parent questions or requests. COVID caught everyone by surprise and caused us to quickly pivot and adjust our way of life. Kudos to everyone for buckling down and doing what needs to be done. This year put our strength on display.
As we move forward, we must continue to band together and build upon the lessons we’ve learned such as:
- How valuable communication is and how much the collective success of our students depend on it. We must aim to meet students and parents where they are and use diverse communication methods to reach all families.
- The importance of focusing on ramping up efforts to nurture the mental and social well being of our children. In the midst of crisis, it is more important than ever to maintain a sense of happiness and security.
- How to maintain a sense of community despite being physically distant. Determined to stay connected, we found creative ways to offer social, emotional and physical support.
As we take these lessons into 2021, let’s celebrate our resilience. We should be proud of how we made adjustments to take care of our children by any means.
Joy Spencer, EPiC Contributor
Senior Program Specialist