How about we agree that the term #NewNormal is never going to be normal? Life challenges us in many ways every single day since the beginning of time, there's nothing new about it. This time it's only being a bit more creative, pushing us further, testing us and watching what we're going to do about it. And it has been difficult. And it hurt us in so many ways. But holding a grudge will get us nowhere.
How about we find it in our hearts to thank the year 2020 for being the catalyst for all the learning it put us through?
Seems too optimistic? Let's recap:
Never before have teachers and schools collaborated on this scale regardless of where they live.
Never before have teachers changed their teaching so radically in only a few days.
Never before have we fully understood what our students were capable of until we witnessed how quickly they adapted to distant learning and all the challenges that just kept coming.
Never before have the parents had this chance to see first hand how much we care for their kids, and how much effort and love is put in every single lesson we plan and teach.
Never before have relationships mattered this much.
We have been there for one another.
CEESA team makes sure that schools and their teachers get the support they need under any circumstances. Learning is and has always been all about purposeful connections and collaboration and we hope we have been a helping hand in all of this. Please, let us know if you need any support. If you haven't already, take a look at the new learning possibilities we have created for you on www.ceesaconnects.com and www.ceesa.org.
I have to tell you, as someone observing the work of the schools in the CEESA region, you can relax - you are doing a fantastic job. You've got this covered. You improvise better than ever, you have the solutions for different situations up your sleeve, you exchange ideas, ask for help and provide help selflessly. So you're fine. Your students are fine because of you.
I believe it is time that we start focusing on the next step of our journey and that is - what are we going to do with all that we have learned?
It may be hard to see the dawn of a new, sunny day at the horizon because we keep looking back, feeling chased by the unknown and running towards the unknown. Think about it - it isn't unknown any more. You know your way around now.
2021 is knocking at the door already. Once we're in 2021, the time will come to ask ourselves: What are we going to do with everything we have learned from 2020? How do we make sure that in the future our students have even greater independence in the learning process? What tools do we plan to continue to use once we're all back to the classrooms? Is there a new way to stay connected with students and parents, a way we started to use during the pandemic and realised it worked better than the tools we used before? Can content creation be a more independent task for your students in the future? Will you collaborate outside your classroom now that you know how? Outside your school? Outside your country?
The kind of work that's ahead is exciting. It will help us understand why we had to go through all of this and how to go on, stronger and smarter.
Again, CEESA team is with you in the months ahead, preparing CEESA Annual Conference in March hosted by IS Budapest: Harnessing the Power of Disruption, as well as helping you stay connected, collaborate and get ready for 2021. Do not hesitate to contact us to plan together how we can get ready for the next step in education.