Lessons Learned from A Year of Pandemic Teaching (with infographic)
I, like many of you reading this, have spent a year as a pandemic teacher.
This past week my memories on social media were flooded with posts about switching to an online format for my students, my own kids coming home for spring break and never going back to school, my husband boxing up his office and packing it away in our house.
Posts like this one:
Images and posts like these tugged at my soul as a reminder of just how long we have all existed in this “new normal”. A year out, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, but the toll this pandemic has taken on teachers and students remains to be fully seen.
However, it is undeniable at this one-year anniversary of the world of education (and the world in general) being turned on its head, that we have learned some valuable, and possibly long-lasting lessons.
Lessons Learned from Year in the Life of a Pandemic Teacher
1. Relationships Above Everything
When everything shut down the focus was on keeping connections alive, creating a safe space for students (even if it was online), and making sure students still felt cared for. Relationships were important before, but during the pandemic, they became the goal – above test scores and progress monitoring.
2. Purpose-led Curriculum
As most teachers’ arsenal of methods and practices went out the window, a renewed focus on the “why” emerged. Teachers were forced to streamline and curate the curriculum with an eye toward how effective it was at facilitating learning.
3. Innovative Teaching
Teaching shifted in major ways – from online – synchronous and asynchronous, hybrid, a new version of face-to-face, and everything in-between. In doing so teachers rose up and found new ways to stretch, connect, and innovate – when the pandemic is over, some of these new practices will reshape the future of education.
4. Valued Professionals
The pandemic opened society’s eyes to the value of essential workers. During the pandemic, teachers were seen for what they truly are – change-makers and givers of hope. Teachers showed up, provided a sense of calm and security, and made a difference in gestures that hopefully won’t soon be forgotten.