Two years ago today, the Covid-19 pandemic had really started to affect us locally, at state level, nationally and globally. Locally, it had been a few weeks since the first confirmed case. Concerts, the NBA, events and most notably locally, the beloved ACC basketball tournament had all been cancelled. Schools all across our area had closed. The local headlines seemed on the very day (March 13, 2020) our schools all across the state (and for the most part, nationally) closed.
Since that day so much has changed in our world and especially our profession. The shift to virtual school, back to in person in a cohort model, back to virtual when variants spiked, mask mandates, vaccinations, boosters, return to school at full capacity, etc. So many shifts in the last school year — enough to make ones head spin when they stop and think of it.
Education is tough. Education during the middle of a global pandemic, even tougher. Now we see more hurdles. The great resignation sweeping the nation has hit our schools, too. With so many staff outages daily, unfilled positions, etc. teachers and school administrators all across the country find themselves often filling these gaps. Trying to maintain daily structure while filling staffing needs however possible is a new level of challenging.
It is clear the past two years have taken quite the toll on everyone. Our profession is not spared. As we rethink our profession in a post-covid world there is a lot to consider. It is evident we must make the profession attractive to those who might and hopefully would consider entering the field. Stakeholders with most ties to pursestrings depending on individual states’ salary structures would do a great service by making significant adjustments to salary structures within public education. While increased pay would help significantly, especially to those just starting out in the profession it would also assist in attraction to the profession which began taking a hit in the years leading up to the pandemic now even more significant. Expecting professionals to continue to do more with less simply isn’t attainable. We must look at effective ways to rethink how we do things in a post-pandemic world in general, our profession is no different.
As a general rule most of the voices in the back making significant noise aren’t the answer. Arguing over non-existent “problems” and attempting to create political points over such is problematic to put it mildly. We can and should be better as a nation.
Take time to listen. Our teachers, administrators, support personnel and most of all, the students we all serve, need us now more than ever. It is so important we support one another. Is it one more thing? Absolutely. Does it take a village? Always. Is it vital for success in a school year truly like no other? You better believe it.
Self care and balance has been the hallmark for many during the past two years. I’ve preached this often throughout and stand by it daily. I can’t say enough how important it is now more than ever to check on each other though. Focus on the positives and stand up for one another. Offer support when needed.
We may not know what the future holds but I am fortunate to work with so many amazing educators both directly and indirectly I have no doubt it will be bright. Better together. We’ve got this. Trust and believe.