Our country, our schools, and our students are facing incredible adversity right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has already produced the largest disturbance our school system has ever seen. Schools shut their doors to in-person learning this spring, quickly entering the tumultuous, uncharted territory of online education. Across the nation, educators and their students grappled with the transition from in-person lessons to teaching on unfamiliar online platforms, all while facing anxiety about health, job security, and a changing nation.
Now, we are entering a new school year that will bring new uncertainties and learning formats, likely including hybrid structures that combine distance learning with part-time in-person instruction. There will also be an array of new policies, procedures, and guidelines. With an absence of unifying leadership from the federal government, districts and schools have been left with the unprecedented task of figuring out how to keep students learning while maintaining their physical and mental health in the midst of a global crisis.
It’s not exactly a recipe for calm, focused learning.