Change is Hard
I think it goes without saying that this year, more than most, we teachers have been asked quite a lot from our communities, schools, and/or jobs. Without exhausting a list of every additional change to our practice this year, I can safely say that every teacher has made edits to their written and taught curriculum. Some perhaps have cut giant chunks with a sigh saying, “Maybe next year...” It is easy to think about all the fun projects and cool field trips we’ve lost and get all negative about the past year but I am not hoping teachers do that.
Instead I hope teachers look over what they have set aside and really examine each thing before picking it back up again. The reason; constraints breed creativity. While they may not have noticed it, teachers have been some of the biggest innovators in their field over the last 9 months. A complete shift in learning environments, pared down content lists, new expectations for students outcomes, and shifts in learning procedures, all took place nearly overnight.
In 2021, teachers will be tasked with putting things back and this is where the real change will take place. We will look at all the amazing new skills our students have and adaptations they have made and bring them forward. We will look at the old way we used to do things and decide which to leave behind. We teachers will be the arbiters of the future of education in a deeply profound and important way. Take great care!
The best news however, is that the hard change I mention at the start of this post is nearly done. In the midst of adapting and fighting we also learnt and grew. Never before have we had so many teachers so capable with new pedagogical practices and educational technology. If you’re still reading, give yourself a pat on the back, take a deep breath, and know that you are appreciated more than you may know.
Written by David Hotler