Jewel Wiesinger, MS SSP
Huntington Learning Center – Weddington
If you have seen Frozen 2, at least one time, you may recognize the title of this post as a line from the song “Into the Unknown.” Elsa, the lead character (as if you did not know already), is trying to ignore a pestering voice from the unknown, unfortunately, the unknown is consistent and would not be ignored. The unknown gave Elsa the power to grow.
In the weeks leading up to the start of 2020-2021 school year, school leaders, teachers, parents, and students lived in a world of unknowns. “Plan B?” “Plan D?” “How will this all look?” Even “First Day” pictures on social media were being planned differently, although still much enjoyed.
During the first week, systems crashed, teachers rode a steep learning curve, students did not receive schedules and/or canvas log ins, parents were either enthused or frustrated, COVID-19 cases closed one school, and outside of this great community that is Union County, the world continued to be held hostage by COVID-19.
Before I sat down to write this, I read Ashley Erb’s post from last school year. She explained the shift in focus to student well-being when schools shutdown in March. I wanted to ask Ashley if she could have imagined the 2020-2021 school year would begin in a hybrid or fully virtual model. Did anyone believe that? How long will this continue?
These questions, while valid, completely miss the point. Despite the many unknowns, the structure of education had to change, hopefully temporarily, at no fault of any one person.
In March of 2020, Huntington Learning Center – Weddington went fully virtual. It was scary because there were so many unknowns. We are so fortunate that our teachers and directors overcame any obstacles to provide the best education possible. We were thrilled to reopen in late May and happy to serve our community, but we had to make changes. I ask myself regularly how long some of the measures we have taken will last? Again, I am completely missing the point.
Educators want to educate – to teach. Parents want their children in school learning. Students need to learn in the most consistent way possible. Possible – Plan B and Plan D – are possible right now.
It is not easy to change our way of thinking, nor is it irrational to want to go back to precedented times. Is anyone else tired of the word “unprecedented?” It is possible to support educators, leaders, families, and students in a positive manner in a world of unknowns. Why not focus on the wins, instead of the losses. “All my in-school and virtual students were in attendance today.” “I learned to embed a link in Microsoft Teams.” “My daughter logged into all her coursework with no trouble all day.” “My son’s teacher made a big technology goof, but recovered quickly.” “No one said anything inappropriate while unmuted.”
As we continue into this school year and the many unknowns, let’s mute the negative, support all involved in educating our children, and applaud each other.