This post is brought to you by Remake Learning and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
As we count down the number of days left of a school year that will end in the most unexpected way, we’re faced with the uncertainty of what lies ahead. We wonder what tomorrow will bring and about the kinds of experiences our kids need to flourish. We know current events will shape the future of learning but what we can do today to make tomorrow a promising place?
Everything that’s been happening has taught me a lot about learning that can inform education tomorrow.
As a parent, I’ve learned to be flexible. I’ve learned that my kids are more resilient than I think but during times of uncertainty, love and compassion trump all.
As a teacher, I’ve learned that kids can thrive in online learning environments but connections to teachers and classmates are critical.
My fellow staff members have spent countless hours checking in with our middle schoolers to ensure students are safe and they have the technology they need to succeed. I’ve enjoyed seeing how engaged middle schoolers can be during online pep rallies. I’ve loved having students pop into my optional office hours. They hang out and talk like they did at lunch before coronavirus closed schools.
Online education for K-12 seemed impossible until we tried it. Experiences from the past couple months have been far from perfect but we’ve learned teachers, students, and parents are capable of more than we’ve ever imagined.
These moments of learning have happened while I’ve juggled work and online school just like you have over the past couple months. These lessons come from my kids adapting to new schedules, the online learning environment, and changes to social interactions.
The shift to online school has caused us all to realize that we don’t have to keep doing the same things we’ve always done. Whether your kids have floundered or flourished with the sudden changes to traditional education, we’ve learned that it’s within our power to decide what tomorrow should look like.
As wise as the above quote is, it’s worrisome not knowing what the “something else” is.
Educational trends like learner-centered, maker, personalized, STEM, and STEAM have all been part of the “something else” for quite a while. We know great learning should be relevant, engaging, and equitable rather than defined by buzzwords and trends.
Ultimately, the “something else” is up to us.
None of this has been easy but there have been surprising moments and new hopes for today’s youth that will come from it.
About Tomorrow Powered by Remake Learning
Today, on the 143 Day of the year (a national day of kindness in honor of Fred Rogers), I’m celebrating the launch of the new Tomorrow campaign powered by Remake Learning. Tomorrow is inspired by Fred Rogers and his empathetic, child-centered, and unique approach to learning.
The Tomorrow campaign focuses on what we can do today to make tomorrow a more promising place for every learner. It spotlights ideas of others, elevates our community’s questions and thoughts, and helps us prepare for what the future may bring.
It recognizes that what sustains us through exceptional times like these are the essential qualities that make us human. We have capacity to love and power of relationships. The strength we get from belonging to a society that can work together is more powerful than what we can do as individuals.
From May-October 2020, Tomorrow, powered by Remake Learning, will host a series of virtual meet-ups and workshops. Youth documentaries, podcasts, social media chats, and exchanges of life lessons are designed to inspire change. Grants will help equip educators to forge the future of learning to benefit all kids.
What is Your “Something Else” that will help #RemakeTomorrow?
Tomorrow is focused on more than just doing things better. They’re invested on supporting educators as they remodel learning for students. They’re investing in efforts to make learning possible for every young person everywhere.
As part of this campaign, you’re invited to share your “something else” on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Tag your ideas with #RemakeTomorrow and @RemakeLearning to share them with the world so we can work together today to make tomorrow a promising place.
As a teacher who navigated this new landscape of online learning, I found that I missed seeing my students every day more than I ever expected. Even though it was my first year back in the classroom, my 8th graders surprised me with their humor, compassion towards each other, and trust in me.
I don’t know what the start of school will look like when a new year begins in August but I will remake tomorrow. I’m committed to maintaining high quality instruction, engagement, and community whether learning is online or in person.
I hope you’ll join me in sharing how you plan to #RemakeTomorrow today.
For more information about #RemakeTomorrow, including virtual event schedules, visit: https://bit.ly/2WJX91v